Race: U.S. House 3rd District, which includes Armstrong, Butler and Mercer counties and parts of Clarion, Crawford, Erie and Lawrence counties.
Candidates: Mike Kelly, R; Missa Eaton, D; Steven Porter, Ind.
Mike Kelly, 64, (left) who lives in the City of Butler, owns a multi-brand auto dealership. A graduate of Butler High School, where he played football, he won an athletic scholarship to Notre Dame. An injury there cut short his athletic career.
He is a former member of Butler City Council and was first elected to Congress in 2010, defeating Democratic incumbent Kathy Dahlkemper. He serves on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Committee on Foreign Affairs and Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
He and his wife Victoria are the parents of four children.
Missa Eaton, 49, (right) lives in Sharon. She had been an assistant professor of psychology at Penn State's Shenango campus since 2004, resigning this fall to campaign full time.
She grew up in Dallas, Texas, and earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. She earned both master's and doctoral degrees in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
She and her husband John, a self-employed computer programmer, have one daughter, Kalie. This is her first run for office.
Steven Porter, 69, (below) and his wife Rita live in Wattsburg, a small borough about 15 miles southeast of Erie. Born in the Bronx, he grew up in New York's Westchester County. He studied at the Juilliard School and Oberlin Conservatory before graduating from the Mannes College, He earned a master's from Queens College and a doctoral degree from New York's City University and Long Island University.
He was a public school teacher and administrator for 37 years. He later headed the department of musical theater at Mercyhurst College. He has composed more than 150 musical compositions and written 22 books. He has run for office both in New York state and in Pennsylvania, where he was twice the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the 3rd District seat.
Redistricting by the Republican-controlled state Legislature put all of Butler County, Mr. Kelly's home county, into the 3rd District, giving his campaign a demographic boost. Votes for Independent candidate, Mr. Porter, are likely to come at the expense of Ms. Eaton, the Democratic hopeful.
Speaking out on both economic and social issues, Mr. Kelly has not been a shy freshman member of the House, fighting against what he describes as the Washington status quo.
Ms. Eaton has focused on Mr. Kelly's comfortable upbringing as the son of a business owner and on his unwillingness to face his election opponents in multiple debates.
Mr. Porter says he is running as an independent because both major parties are too much in debt to special interests.
Mr. Kelly has drawn national attention, much of it unfavorable, for his comparison of contraception provisions in the Affordable Care Act, known informally as Obamacare, to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 and the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Ms. Eaton finds herself well behind on fundraising behind her incumbent opponent. She is likely to lose at least some votes to Mr. Porter, who has staked out more liberal positions to her left.
Third-party candidates, like Mr. Porter, usually get little attention from the media.
Money (via Open Secrets)
Mr. Kelly, total raised, $809,098.
Ms. Eaton, total raised, $130,867
Mr. Porter, who believes in public financing of campaigns, has been self-financing his campaign. He estimates he has spent less than $5,000, mostly for filing fees and lawn signs. (See updated numbers here.)
-- By Len Barcousky