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Republican Rob Mercuri enters race for Pa.'s 17th congressional district

Rob Mercuri.
Rob Mercuri Campaign

Republican state Rep. Rob Mercuri announced Tuesday he'll run against first-term Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Chris Deluzio in what may be the state's most competitive U.S. House race — Pennsylvania’s 17th congressional district. He's the second Republican veteran to declare his candidacy in this race.

Mercuri currently represents the 28th district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. who deployed for two tours in Iraq, Mercuri owns a pack-and-ship business in Wexford.

“As a veteran, I know that America is worth fighting for. As a father, I care deeply about our future. As a small business owner, I know that anything is possible here with hard work. I’m running for Congress to help restore the promise of prosperity to our region and to revive the American dream so each one of us has the opportunity to thrive,” Mercuri said in a news release.

His statehouse platform: fiscal responsibility, energy expansion, educational choices and economic development. He’s authored legislation in the areas of education, finance, autonomous transportation, and data privacy.

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Mercuri joins another lesser-known Republican veteran in the race: pastor and retired law enforcement officer Jim Nelson. Nelson is running on what he says is a “common sense” platform with priorities that include school safety, tax reform and economic development. A U.S. Air Force veteran and African American, Nelson says he wants to represent his very diverse district.

The 17th is a swing district that joins Beaver County to a suburban swath of Allegheny County, and its geography encompasses college-educated suburbs as well as working-class industrial and post-industrial communities.

Deluzio is a U.S. Navy veteran and lawyer who has worked as the policy director for a University of Pittsburgh center focused on cyber law and security. Prior to that, he worked in election security for the Brennan Center.

The general election is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2024.

Glynis comes from a long line of Pittsburgh editors and has 16 years of experience reporting, producing and editing in the broadcasting industry. She holds a Master's in Education and a Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia University. She also spent a year with West Virginia University as an adjunct journalism professor.