March 6, 2014
JOHNSTOWN — Mark Critz calls the Democratic Party’s lieutenant governor primary a “geographic race.”
And it appears he will be the best-known candidate from southwestern Pennsylvania when nominating petitions are filed.
The Johnstown resident previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2010-2013. There likely will be only one other candidate from the area, state Rep. Brandon Neuman of Washington County.
The rest of the field is expected to come from the central and eastern regions of the state.
So, with limited opposition in his home base, Critz hopes to win the May 20 primary by dominating the West.
“I think I have a tremendous advantage. Because of going through four multimillion dollar (congressional) campaigns, no one can come even close to the name recognition I have in southwest Pennsylvania and in this region,” said Critz during an open house at his Johnstown headquarters on Thursday.
“What I have to do is mobilize those people, and I think I’m going to be OK. I’m going to do my work. But I’m also traveling the state to make sure that people around the state are hearing my message.”
He thinks 40 percent of the vote will come from the Pittsburgh and Johnstown regions.
“I just have to make sure that I’m doing my job in those two media markets, and that I’m working places like Erie, Scranton, Harrisburg and the rural areas of Pennsylvania, which I’ve really represented my entire career,” said Critz, who believes his toughest competition will come from state Sen. Michael Stack of Philadelphia.
Nomination petitions are due by Tuesday.
Critz expects to submit 2,000 signatures, well above the 1,000 needed to gain ballot access.