Shuster faces a primary in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
In another era, House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster would have his House district on lockdown. Who would challenge the powerful “prince of asphalt” in his safe GOP district in south-central Pennsylvania?
But by many local accounts, Shuster has the fight of a decade on his hands from retired Coast Guard Capt. Art Halvorson.
Shuster’s biography boasts the textbook trappings of an entrenched incumbent: his chairmanship of a committee once known for pork projects, the scion of a local political legend, and a reputation for bringing federal funds to the district. The congressman’s father, 14-term Rep. Bud Shuster, was known for using the same committee gavel to move money into the district — enough so that he picked up the “king of asphalt” title.
But his son reigns in a different political era. In a sign of the times, all of Shuster’s bona fides did nothing to scare off Halvorson.
“Committee chairmanships are no longer a deterrent in getting a primary, but they are still enormously beneficial to winning a primary,” said Brock McCleary, a Pennsylvania-based GOP pollster. Full story