In Washington D.C., the only thing that Congressional Republicans fear more than a strong Democratic challenger is a Tea Party primary opponent from the right. In Pennsylvania’s 12th District, Tea Party Republican Keith Rothfus has the opposite problem–he’s facing a primary challenge from the center.
Vietnam veteran Larry Stiles of Johnstown announced his intention to challenge Rothfus for the Republican nomination on a moderate platform and put veterans first. Already, Stiles is attacking Rothfus and demanding action.
First, Stiles wants Rothfus to resign from the Financial Services Committee and request reassignment to the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“Rothfus understands that Wall Street leaves larger tips than struggling area veterans, but it is time for this Wannabe Wall Streeter to come home and work for those brave Western Pennsylvanians who have served our nation,” said Stiles. “It is high time for Rothfus to leave the suits of Wall Street and suit up for area Veterans.”
And that’s not all. Stiles is demanding that Rothfus vote for disaster relief to Oklahomans affected by the recent tornado. Rothfus notoriously voted against relief funds for Hurricane Sandy victims.
Stiles wants Rothfus “to ask Grover Norquist and other Washington Republican elites [for] permission to vote for Oklahoma tornado relief.”
“On the week of Memorial Day and nearing the anniversary of the 1889 Johnstown Flood,” Stiles said that Rothfus should “vote like an American not like the lawyer of Wall Street bond traders.”
“It is an American tradition to come to the need of victims of natural disasters,” said Stiles.
Rothfus defeated incumbent Democratic Congressman Mark Critz by 3.5% in 2012. Critz has said he is interested in a rematch, but has not yet announced whether he will run. Democrat Erin McClelland has announced that she will run for the seat.