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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A new short film by the BBC, which premiered in the U.S. this weekend, explores the question of whether President Trump sexually harassed women in the 1980s and 1990s. Witnesses say they saw the president at cocaine-fueled parties harassing women as young as 17.
"Two days after President Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian officials offered a string of assertions about what the two leaders had achieved. 'Important verbal agreements' were reached at the Helsinki meeting, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, told reporters in Moscow Wednesday, including preservation of the New Start and INF agreements," and cooperation in Syria.
"Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election. The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation. Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed."