PITTSBURGH — Democrat U.S. Rep. Mark Critz has spent much of his two-plus years in Congress fighting to keep the seat he took over after his former boss, the powerful John Murtha, died in office in 2010.
After winning a special election and another for a full term that year, Critz had to beat another Democrat in this year's primary after Republican-controlled redistricting combined their turf.
Now Critz is fighting to keep the seat in a redrawn 12th District that tends to vote Republican despite containing a slim majority of registered Democrats.
His opponent is Keith Rothfus, a corporate attorney backed by the national party and conservative groups. Their campaign is filling Pittsburgh-area TV stations with ads touting each candidate's conservative credentials, and their differences on health care and free trade.