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Molchany challenging Deasy in 27th

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Mt. Washington's Erin Molchany -- the director of the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project and ally of former Rep. Chelsa Wagner -- announced today that she will challenge state Rep. Dan Deasy of Westwood in the Democratic race for the 27th state House district.

UPDATE 2:15 p.m. Wagner supported Molchany when she was arguing that the (defunct) 22nd District be retained, but I'm told she's supporting Deasy in the 27th District race. For more background on the race (including a reminder that Molchany and Deasy have faced off before) please see this post by Chris Potter at City Paper.

Full statement after the jump:

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Maggi to run for Murphy seat

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Good Monday morning.

It's a busy day already at Early Returns HQ -- Mark Critz got the endorsement over Jason Altmire from the United Steelworkers union in the (wild) Pa12 race; more on that later -- and now there's more congressional news.

Democrat Larry Maggi, a Washington County commissioner and former state trooper and sheriff, announced today that he is running for Republican Tim Murphy's seat south of Pittsburgh. He is the only known Dem candidate so far, and he'll be sitting back while Murphy deals with the attack on his right flank from GOP challenger Evan Feinberg.

UPDATE 2:30 P.M. In an interview this afternoon Maggi, 61, said he has "a burning desire for service" and wants to take the economic message from Washington County to Congress.

"It just seems there is so much going on in DC that I hear that is beyond my control as a commissioner. We've done pretty well in Washington County with jobs -- we're the third fastest growing county in the nation in job growth -- and I want to take that experience and go to D.C. I know you're one of 435 men and women, but I want to go down and do there what we've done here successfully," he said.

That success is largely due to the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom. Maggi, the chairman of the Washington County commissioners, says he supports exploration as long as it does not mistreat the environment and that natural gas firms have "been good stewards" in his experiences.

Maggi opposes President Obama's health care reform package, saying some kind of reform is needed but he does not think "what was passed was a good piece of legislation." He is anti-abortion and pro-gun (the former trooper owns 12 handguns) and as a Marine Corps vet hopes to work on veterans issues in Congress.

He ran for the seat a decade ago and lost by 9 points in the Democratic primary to Jack Machek, and he admitted to looking past the campaign toward the general election against then state Sen. Tim Murphy.. "I raised a lot of money but I kind of forgot about the primary and didn't get to go to the dance," Maggi said.

Full statement from the Maggi campaign after the jump:
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Santorum the official Iowa winner

Published by Lillian Thomas on .

Politico reports that Rick Santorum is now the official winner in Iowa:

BULLETIN: Santorum officially wins Iowa - Republic Party of Iowa statement at midnight, via Burns & Haberman: "In order to clarify conflicting reports and to affirm the results released January 18 by the Republican Party of Iowa, Chairman Matthew Strawn and the State Central Committee declared Senator Rick Santorum the winner of the 2012 Iowa Caucus." On Thursday, the party had tried to declare a permanent tie because of eight lost precincts, despite a 38-vote lead by Santorum.

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Campaign Journal: Stephen Colbert

Published by James O'Toole on .

In an satiric event only slightly more surreal than the actual campaign developments of recent days, Stephen Colbert urged his fellow South Carolinians to vote for former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain. Mr. Cain who dropped from the race after allegations of serial adultery -- sound familiar? -- urged the crowd of thousands at the College of Charleston not to vote for him, though his name remains on the ballot. But he joined in the high spirits of the rally in which Mr. Colbert praised the fact that the nation's lawmakers and the Supreme Court had, over time, extended civil rights to women, to minorities, and to corporations, though the Citizens United decision that has done so much to influence the free-spending Republican race so far.

As the Comedy Central star took the stage before an antebellum building with tall Ionic columns, under tower live oaks dripping Spanish moss, he gazed over a crowd of thousands, many waving home made signs. Among the political sentiments they proclaimed: "I skipped Work of Steven.''
"Yes We Cain;'' and, "Colbert, I Made This Sign 4 U But My Panties R 4 Anderson.''
Of the justices Citizens United opinion, M.r Colbert said, "With the stroke of a pen these wise men leveled the playing filed ... and sold the naming rights to Bank of America. ... And lo, SuperPACs were born unto us.''

Confronting the scurrilous charge that his own SuperPAC and his presidential candidacy was a joke, he said, if it was, "the they are saying that our entire campaign finance system is a joke ... and I don't know about you, but I am pid to be offended by that.''

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Campaign Journal: John Tate

Published by James O'Toole on .

John Tate comments on the relative lack of attention to his candidate Ron Paul during GOP debates and calls it a double edged sword.