Candidates file to run for open Pa. seat

February 12, 2008 3:36:57 PM PST
By the original Tuesday filing deadline, 12 candidates had submitted signatures to run for Pennsylvania's only open congressional seat. The crowded field to replace retiring Republican Rep. John Peterson includes elected officials, business owners, a journalist and Iraq war veteran and the great-grandson of a well-known bakery founder.

Tuesday had been the deadline to submit the required signatures to the Pennsylvania Secretary of State's office to get on the ballot, but the deadline was extended to noon Wednesday because of a winter storm that caused problems across the state.

The predominantly rural district in central and northern Pennsylvania is one of the state's most conservative, so the winner of the April 22 Republican primary would likely have advantage in November's general election.

Nine of the candidates are Republicans. Three are Democrats.

On the Republican side, the candidates include: Elk County Coroner Lou Radkowski; Jeffrey J. Stroehmann, a business owner who is the great-grandson of the founder of Stroehmann Bakery; Derek Walker, owner of a financial planning business; Chris Exarchos, a former Centre County commissioner; Matt Shaner, a hotel developer; Glenn Thompson, the Centre County GOP chairman and a nursing home administrator; Keith Richardson, an attorney and pastor; Clarion Mayor John Rea Stroup; and John Krupa, an insurance agent.

Among the Democrats, the candidates are Bill Cahir, a journalist who fought in the Iraq war with the Marines; Clearfield County Commissioner Mark McCracken; and Lock Haven Mayor Richard Vilello. Peterson has not endorsed a candidate.

To be eligible to run for Congress in the state, candidates must submit 1,000 signatures and pay a $150 filing fee.


On the Net: Pennsylvania Department of State: