Republican John Chrin launched his opening argument Monday in his campaign against Democrat Matt Cartwright in Pennsylvania’s 8th District. The seat represents a rare pickup opportunity for the GOP this cycle in which it is largely on defense.
Republicans, hoping to stave off potential losses in the House, are looking to win in districts like the 8th, one of a dozen held by a Democratic lawmaker that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.
In his first television ad of the general election, Chrin notes his roots in the area.
“I made a lifetime of memories growing up here, learning about true Pennsylvania values, like perseverance, hard work and integrity,” Chrin says in the ad, shared first with Roll Call. “It’s where I got the tools to succeed.”
Chrin was born in Fountain Hill, which is in a neighboring district, and owns a home there. He had been living in the affluent New Jersey town of Short Hills and recently purchased a home in Monroe County, which is in the 8th District.
If elected, he pledged to focus on fighting for jobs and affordable health care, and work to ban so-called sanctuary cities, or local jurisdictions that do not comply with federal immigration law.
“Together, we’ll defend our families, our values, our Northeast Pennsylvania way of life,” he says in the ad.
The $50,000 ad buy on broadcast networks will run for two weeks. For the race against Cartwright, Chrin is expected to tap into his personal wealth, amassed as a former banker at JP Morgan Chase and Merrill Lynch.
Republicans are confident of Chrin’s chances in the district, which was redrawn earlier this year. They point out that Cartwright did not face a serious challenger in 2016, with his opponent spending only $30,000. Under the old lines, Cartwright won a third term by nearly 8 points, while Trump carried the district by 10 points. Trump still would have won by a similar margin had the new congressional map been in place.
Cartwright maintained a financial advantage at the end of the second fundraising quarter on June 30 with $1.8 million in cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission documents. Chrin ended the quarter with $842,000 in the bank.