5 Things to Know About the Holden/Cartwright Race
Democratic primary for 17th district will be decided Tuesday.
Holden, 55 and from Schuylkill County, has been in Congress for 20 years, but it was only until recently -- due to congressional redistricting -- that his representing the Lehigh Valley was even a possibility.
In addition to the Easton area and much of Northampton County, the new 17th district includes Holden's home county, as well Monroe, Lackwanna, Luzerne and Carbon counties.
Cartwright, 50 and from the town of Moosic south of Scranton, is an attorney who has been presented as a more liberal alternative to Holden, who's known as a "Blue Dog" -- i.e., more centrist/conservative -- Democrat.
Cartwright has raised and loaned himself more than $700,000 for his campaign.
Outside groups have spent more than $500,000 on ads in the race.
Here are five more recent developments in the race you should know about:
1. So far, Holden appears to have racked up the most big name endorsements: U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and former Gov. Ed Rendell are backing him, as well as most of the Easton area's Democratic players.
2. Cartwright, meanwhile, got the endorsement of former congressman Joe Sestak this weekend. Sestak, an admiral and one-time candidate for senate, campaigned on Cartwright's behalf in Easton on Saturday.
3. The candidates agreed last week to cease negative campaign ads, with Holden acknowledging that one of his commercials had gone over the line. The ad in question -- according to the Cartwright campaign -- had implied that Cartwright's law firm had helped pay for a judge's election to win a favorable decision.
However, on Sunday, Holden's campaign issued a statement calling Cartwright's latest mailer -- dealing with Holden's stance on health care issues and fracking -- "despicable."
"Matt Cartwright only seems to take offense to negative ads against Matt Cartwright. It’s pure political theater," Holden campaign manager Eric Nagy said in a news release.
4. The Morning Call's Adam Clark has a pretty exhaustive breakdown of both candidates and their stances. They're pretty much similar on gun control and abortion, but seem to differ on economic issues, as well as on fracking.
5. Whoever wins Tuesday won't be guaranteed their seat. They'll face a challenge in November from Laureen Cummings, one of the founders of the Scranton Tea Party.