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Pennsylvania - 10th District

Incumbent -- Christopher Carney (D) ; Defeated by Tom Marino, R, in general election on November 2, 2010

Tossup
Race Ratings Key
 

Updated Oct. 14, 2010

This should be a top pickup opportunity for Republicans.

But it remains to be seen whether GOP candidate Tom Marino can overcome fundraising challenges and a rash of negative press in the early fall to unseat Carney.

Marino's chances look good on paper.

He is a former U.S. attorney with relatively good name recognition in this sprawling rural district in the heart of Amish territory. The voters here are conservative and support Republicans, having voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by 9 points in 2008 and President George W. Bush by 20 points in 2004.

But Marino has struggled to raise money. ("I'd rather take a butt kicking than go out and ask people for money," he told Roll Call in August.) He was slowed by a serious car accident earlier in the year and showed little sign of gaining momentum as he recovered. And he faced increasingly difficult questions throughout September regarding his involvement with a casino license applicant during his tenure as a U.S. attorney.

Marino will be helped by outside spending. The conservative advocacy group known as the 60 Plus Association has already spent nearly $450,000 on TV time that should benefit Marino.

Carney, meanwhile, has a profile that has played well here in his first two elections.

A member of the Navy Reserve, he plays a personal role in combatting terrorism regularly by piloting predator drones for the military. And as a Blue Dog Democrat, his positions are far more moderate than some of his House colleagues.

Polling has suggested that Carney will have the advantage going down the stretch, although he has yet to crack the 50 percent mark.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

Situated in the northeastern corner of Pennsylvania, the 10th is home to a portion of the Pocono Mountains region, a retreat known for its skiing, fishing and golfing. The district's southern arm dips into the Central Susquehanna Valley.

The four Central Susquehanna Valley counties of Northumberland, Union, Snyder and Montour account for 30 percent of the population and contribute to the 10th's manufacturing, retail and service industries. Northumberland has many manufacturers, and a large solar energy field will go up next to the county's main industrial park. Montour is home to the Geisinger Health System and Danville State Hospital.

Some of the state's best areas for lumber, agriculture and natural gas drilling are here. Dairy farming is particularly prominent in Bradford County, although the industry has been hurt by falling prices. Tourism remains strong, especially during summer, when visitors come for the scenery in the district's east and for the Little League World Series, played annually in South Williamsport (in the adjacent 5th). Booming Pike County on the district's eastern border hosts residents who commute to New Jersey and New York City but prefer the small-town setting, cheaper land and access to main highways.

The 10th contains rural, socially conservative heartland, although Democrats crop up in Carbondale and Archbald in Lackawanna County and in parts of Luzerne County.

Major Industry

Agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, timber

Cities

Williamsport, 29,381; Kingston, 13,182

Notable

Thomas Edison first demonstrated his electrical lighting in 1883 by wiring the Sunbury Hotel (now named the Edison Hotel).

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