As Democrats scout U.S. Rep. Don Sherwood's district to determine whether they have a legitimate shot at toppling the Tunkhannock Republican, the GOP says it may target Democratic U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski next year.
I hope they find a serious challenger to take him on. It is not healthy for the country to have all these "safe seats." The founding fathers intention was for the House of Representativess reflect the will of people every 2 years.
Of course there is an element of payback here.
The interest comes at the same time Democrats have been talking about trying to defeat Sherwood, a married family-values congressman who has become embroiled in an extra-marital affair and lawsuit involving a 29-year-old woman.
Kanjorski has not had a Republican opponent since 2002, when Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta ran unsuccessfully for the seat, losing 56 percent to 42 percent. Despite the loss, political insiders said Barletta made a valiant effort and came closer to knocking off Kanjorski than anyone else.
Mayor Lou is an attractive candidate that has good name recognition in the district. He seems to have done a good job running Hazleton. I'm sure he has some local detractors but who doesn't? But it will all come down to money.
The 2002 showdown between Barletta and Kanjorski became the most expensive congressional race in the district's history. Kanjorski spent $1.1 million to hold onto his seat, while Barletta spent about $500,000, and special interest groups poured in an additional $900,000 running issue ads.
If Barletta doesn't want to run I hope they find another strong candidate to give it a shot. The same in the 10th District. I hope Skrep or Chris Carney takes on Sherwood. I know it is very difficult to beat a long time incumbent but it's worth a try. You never know when something that will affect the race will come out of the blue. Just ask Don Sherwood.