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 16 comments Comments 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.