Murtha Leaves Huge Shoes ... and Big Chance for GOP

Republicans have long eyed the Pa. seat for takeover
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2010 6:53 PM CST
Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., center, is seen in a 2009 photo.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The death today of Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha leaves some huge shoes to fill, and presents a great chance for Republicans. The Atlantic rounds up what’s being said about the Democrat, and what the future might bring:

  • He was the “king of pork.” Murtha used his position as chairman of a subcommittee that held the Pentagon’s purse strings to wrangle big bucks for his rural district.
  • He had the right’s respect. Those sending condolences include MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and righty national-security expert Steve Schippert.

  • He helped solidify anti-war sentiment. Pundits have dubbed his 2005 move to oppose Iraq policy the “Murthquake.”
And looking ahead:
  • Republicans are drooling over his district. They’ve long seen it as an opportunity to add a seat.
  • Murtha’s death is another blow to Democrats. The party has already seen plenty of lawmakers decide not to run this year.

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