After reports surfaced that state Rep. Mike Turzai plans to run for the U.S. House of Representatives, both Democratic incumbents went on the offensive.
Turzai, who played a large role in redrawing congressional maps during the redistricting process, drew criticism from Democratic U.S. Reps. Mark Critz and Jason Altmire. The new map puts the two men together in the new 12th Congressional District, forcing them to run against each other in the April 24 primary.
Critz's campaign released a statement saying Turzai manipulated the redistricting process for political gain.
"This announcement comes as no surprise since Harrisburg insider Mike Turzai deliberately drew the new 12th Congressional District map, a map that Jason Altmire helped strong-arm support for, so that he could run for this seat," Critz spokesman Mike Mikus said. "It is unfortunate that Turzai and Altmire manipulated the process and put their own personal political gain ahead of the interest of Pennsylvania voters."
Altmire released a statement that Democrats need to nominate a candidate who can beat Turzai in the fall.
"The entry of Majority Leader Mike Turzai, of the North Hills in Allegheny County, into the race for the new 12th Congressional District seat is further evidence of why the Democratic primary is so important," he said in the statement. "Democrats need to nominate the candidate who can run the strongest campaign in the general election against Rep. Turzai, in the Republican-leaning district that he drew for himself."