The Political Fallout of Marino’s Spiked Nomination

It’s a new ballgame in Pennsylvania’s 10th District.

FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2011 file photo, Rep. Thomas Marino, R-Pa., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is demanding that the White House withdraw the nomination of Marino to be the nation's drug czar. Manchin says Marino played a key role in passing a bill weakening the Drug Enforcement Administration's authority to stop companies from distributing opioids.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
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Kyle Trygstad
Oct. 17, 2017, 10:56 a.m.

The withdrawal of Rep. Tom Marino’s nomination as drug czar throws a curveball through Pennsylvania’s 10th District. Once expected to hold a special election race early next year, the seat will now be decided in November, and assuming he seeks reelection the race will feature an incumbent currently under fire.

Marino’s only Democratic opponent at the moment is an addiction counselor who raised just $23,000 in the third quarter. But there will likely be renewed Democratic recruitment efforts to take on an embattled Republican—even for a seat President Trump carried by 36 points.

The Democratic path to the majority in 2006 ran through northeastern Pennsylvania, where naval reserve officer Chris Carney unseated sex-scandal-plagued Republican Don Sherwood. The district leans more heavily Republican than it did in that wave year, but with the opioid crisis hitting home there and the possibility of another helpful national political climate, Democrats could look to put the seat in play.

The DCCC polled the district about both Carney and Marino in May, after the first time Marino pulled out of contention for drug czar. Carney showed interest then and may be even more inclined now to take on the Republican who ousted him in 2010.

Kyle Trygstad


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