No sooner had businessman Art Halvorson announced he would challenge Rep. Bill Shuster for the GOP nomination for Pennsylvania's 9th district than the conservative Madison Project announced it would weigh in with the insurgent.
Halvorson, a retired Coast Guard captain and father-of-six is the Madison Project's first pick for the 2014 elections.
"Republicans in southwest Pennsylvania deserve better than the tax-and-spend brand of Republicanism that has represented them in the form of the Shuster dynasty since 1972," Drew Ryun of the Madison Project told reporters. He was referring to the seven-term congressman and his predecessor — father Bud Shuster, who held the seat from 1972-2001.
The 9th District is considered the most Republican-friendly district in the entire industrial Midwest. Shuster has won at least 60 percent of the vote in each of his last six elections.
Ryun, whose group has a budget estimated at $2 to $6 million, said his group will focus specifically on Shuster's votes for Cash for Clunkers, credit card regulations and TARP "among other bad votes."
Shuster, who assumed the chairmanship of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this year, is an unabashed champion of federal spending projects known as earmarks which House Republicans have sworn off.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax
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