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Saccone And Murphy Squabble In 14th Congressional District Race

Courtesy Guy Reschenthaler official Facebook page; Keith Srakocic/AP
Guy Reschenthaler (l) and Rick Saccone (r) are squaring off in the 14th Congressional District

State Representative Rick Saccone is trading harsh words with former Congressman Tim Murphy, who Saccone sought to replace earlier this year. And the dispute stems from Murphy's support of a rival, state Senator Guy Reschenthaler, in a Congressional primary next week.

According to election records, in April, Murphy's former political committee contributed $200,000 to a new political group, "Conservatives for PA." That group has spent more than $115,000 on mailers and ads to help Reschenthaler become the party's nominee in the 14th Congressional District, south of Pittsburgh. 

Saccone is not pleased.

"This is Tim Murphy, whose bad judgment got us into all this mess in the beginning," Saccone said. "I just think Tim Murphy should stay out of politics. He’s done enough damage in Western Pennsylvania."

Murphy stepped down amid reports of an affair last fall, triggering the March 13 special election. Some Republicans saw connections between Murphy and Reschenthaler at the time: The two shared the same political consulting firm, and Murphy later donated money to help Reschenthaler retire debt

Saccone beat Reschenthaler to become the party's nominee anyway, but then lost to Democrat Conor Lamb in the GOP-friendly district.

Murphy called Saccone's complaints now disingenuous, since during the race, "Saccone continued to ask for my advice, and he actively and repeatedly solicited fundraising support from me."

Saccone and Reschenthaler are now competing in a new district that overlays much of the old one. Murphy said Reschenthaler represents a better future, "and most importantly, he can win this race in the fall." Republicans pick their nominee next Tuesday.

Nearly three decades after leaving home for college, Chris Potter now lives four miles from the house he grew up in -- a testament either to the charm of the South Hills or to a simple lack of ambition. In the intervening years, Potter held a variety of jobs, including asbestos abatement engineer and ice-cream truck driver. He has also worked for a number of local media outlets, only some of which then went out of business. After serving as the editor of Pittsburgh City Paper for a decade, he covered politics and government at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He has won some awards during the course of his quarter-century journalistic career, but then even a blind squirrel sometimes digs up an acorn.