Rep. Bill Shuster (R) announced he will retire after nine terms, leaving open a safe, Republican seat in western Pennsylvania. The term-limited chairman of the House Transportation committee, who “has held the seat since 2001, said he does not want campaigning or anything else to get in the way of helping Trump” pass an infrastructure bill. (Washington Examiner)
THE FIELD. Shuster’s 2016 primary challenger Art Halvorson (R), whom Shuster narrowly beat in 2016, announced another campaign on Tuesday with a promise to serve only six terms. State Sen. Rich Alloway (R) is considering a run. (Chambersburg Public Opinion)
“Shuster, 56, appeared to be ready for a re-election campaign just a month ago. He had weathered a tough campaign in 2016 when he came under fire for dating Shelley Rubino, a vice president of Airlines for America. A4A, the leading trade group for the U.S. airline industry, lobbies the transportation committee.” (Chambersburg Public Opinion)
State Sen. John Eichelberger (R) “has expressed interest in running, a GOP source said. Two GOP sources cited” state House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R), “who lives in the district, as another potential contender.”
“Shuster narrowly won his most recent primary in April 2016, defeating … Halvorson by about 1,000 votes. Running as a tea-party candidate, Halvorson tried to paint the congressman as a Washington insider, pointing to his relationship with Rubino. Halvorson came up short, but he won enough write-in votes from Democrats that he was able to run on the Democratic ticket in the general election. He lost to Shuster by 27 points.” (Roll Call)
DEMOGRAPHICS. The district backed President Trump by 43 points, his largest victory margin of any of the state’s congressional districts. “PA-09 is a solidly red district and we look forward to electing the next Republican leader to represent it,” NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers said in a statement.
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Until last month, National Security Advisor John Bolton chaired the New York-based nonprofit Gatestone Institute, which promoted "misleading and false anti-Muslim news." The group published articles warning of a looming “jihadist takeover” of Europe leading to a “Great White Death," alleged that “no-go zones” existing in Europe due to violence from Muslim migrants, and published one story called: “Rape Capital of the West," which focused on Somali migrants in Sweden. The research, which was occasionally amplified by Russian media outlets and Twitter bots, also criticized mainstream European leaders for failing to confront the so-called crisis.
"Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan has resigned following days of large-scale street protests against him." Sargsyan had previously served 10 years as President, and protestors accused him of clinging to power. "In 2015, Armenians voted in a referendum to shift the country from a presidential to a parliamentary system, stripping powers from the president and giving them to the prime minister." Sargsyan's government has also been criticized for failing to ease tensions with Azerbaijan and Turkey, and "for its close ties to Russia, whose leader Vladimir Putin also moved between the positions of president and prime minister to maintain his grip on power."
President Trump "welcomes French President Emmanuel Macron the White House" today to begin a three-day state visit "expected to be dominated by U.S.-European differences on the Iran nuclear deal and souring trade relations." Trump has vowed to scrap the Iran nuclear deal "unless European allies strengthen it by mid-May." After meetings on Monday and Tuesday, Macron will address Congress on Wednesday, "the anniversary of the day that French General Charles de Gaulle addressed a Joint Session of Congress in 1960."
"A sheriff in Illinois says Travis Reinking," the suspect in a mass shooting that killed four people in a Tennessee Waffle House on Sunday, had his state firearms card revoked last year by state police, but that "his guns were given to his father with the promise that they wouldn’t be shared with his son ... Huston says Reinking’s father has a valid firearm ownership card, and his officers didn’t believe they had any authority to seize the weapons." Police are still searching for the 29-year-old suspect.