Rep. Robert Brady donated to Rep. Mark Critz in his primary against fellow Rep. Jason Altmire, making him the first Democrat in the Pennsylvania delegation to wade into the Member-vs.-Member race.
The influential chairman of the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee gave $2,000 to Critz in early March, Critz's campaign confirmed.
"I am grateful for Bob Brady's support," Critz said in a statement to Roll Call. "He has been a good friend and mentor in Congress and I look forward to working with him for years to come."
Critz and Altmire are running in the April 24 Democratic primary in the southwestern Pennsylvania 12th district. After the Keystone State lost a House seat following reapportionment, Republican mapmakers set up a Critz-Altmire showdown by moving them into the same district.
The winner of the competitive primary will run in a targeted race against attorney Keith Rothfus, the likely GOP nominee. In the past couple of weeks, both Democrats' campaigns released internal polls that showed Altmire with an advantage ranging from 7 to 24 points.
None of the Democrats in the Pennsylvania delegation had endorsed a candidate yet, so Brady's donation appeared to catch Altmire off guard. After votes on Tuesday at the Capitol, Altmire said he wasn't aware of Brady's contribution to his opponent.
"As far as I know, the delegation is neutral," Altmire said. "I have not had a conversation with anybody in the delegation about supporting either of us in the race."
A Brady aide declined to comment.