John Murtha was placed in intensive care this week after complications arose from his gall bladder surgery last week and now the WashingtonPost is speculating from several sources that he may not run for a 19th term come November.
That same speculation has been intensified with the realization that Murtha, in the last three months has raised only $100,000, providing his campaign with $388,000. However those numbers can be misleading, as Murtha has barely faced any challenges since taking the seat in 1974. Only one time did he have a suitable opponent in Rep. Frank Mascare, but even in that case the redistricting that had forced the primary still provided Murtha with a considerably easy win.
If he chooses not to run for re-election Democrats could win the intensely competitive area. In 2008 John McCain won by less than 1,000 votes, while John Kerry won the 12th district with a vote of just 51 percent to 49 percent four years prior. While the district of late has moving to the right, popular democrats, including Al Gore (55% of votes in 2000) have played well in the area.
If Murtha doesn’t run, expect all eyes to be on his seat come November.