Hafer running for Murtha's House seat

Former state Treasurer Barbara Hafer is seeking the Democratic nomination in a special election for the late Rep. John Murtha's 12th District House seat, as first reported by pa2010.com today.

She says she will stand down if Murtha's widow, Joyce, decides she wants to run to fill the unexpired term. Ryan Buccchianeri, a young Navy veteran and favorite of progressives, was already running against Murtha in the primary and will keep pursuing the seat.

Party leaders will select the nominees for a special election to be set by Gov. Rendell, who has said his preference is to hold it on May 18, when primaries are scheduled for both parties. Nominations for a full term for the 12th District will also be decided in the primaries; the winner of a special election would have to be nominated by voters in the primary and elected in the fall to have a full term.

On the Democratic side, members of the state committee from the nine counties in the district will make a recommendation and then the state party's executive board will make the call.

Other Democrats interested include former Lt. Gov. Mark Singel of Johnstown; state Sen. John Wozniak; and Westmoreland County Commissioner Tom Ceraso.