In a sign of disunity ahead of the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina another Democrat, Representative Mark Critz of Pennsylvania said he will not attending. Critz is joining three neighboring West Virginia politicians who also say they will not attend, Senator Joe Manchin, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and Representative Nick Rahall.
Representative Critz says he plans to spend the time campaigning in Pennsylvania and talking about his agenda than attending the convention.
As reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Critz told reporters,
“Since I was elected, my focus has been on creating jobs for people here, rather than focusing on the agendas of the political parties in Washington,”
Critz serves as a representative to Congress for southwestern Pennsylvania, a very conservative district. Critz has been very vocal in his criticism of President Barack Obama. When Obama gave his economic speech Critz was one of the first to go on the offensive against the President saying,
“President Obama and others in Washington need to realize that we cannot spend our way to prosperity,”
Critz was elected to replace Representative John Murtha in a 2010 special election after Murtha passed away. He then went on to win reelection in a general ballot later that year. He has been challenged in the primaries from the left and the right and has survived each time. He is currently running against Allegheny County attorney Keith Rothfus in the upcoming general election.
Pennsylvania has been leaning more Democratic in recent years but Crtiz’s district, which was conservative to begin with, has become increasingly more Republican and after redistricting is solidly Republican. President Obama lost the district by 9 points in 2008.