Top Potential Recruit Declines Race Against Carney

Posted December 21, 2009 at 3:12pm

Pennsylvania state Rep. Mike Peifer, a top potential recruit against Rep. Christopher Carney (D-Pa.), said in an interview with a local newspaper Monday that he will not become a candidate.

“My family comes first,— Peifer told the Pike County Press. “We decided together that I would not run.—

Peifer was one of several local Republicans considering a bid against the two-term Democrat, who was elected to Congress in the conservative northeastern Pennsylvania district by defeating a longtime GOP Congressman involved in a personal scandal in 2006.

Snyder County Commissioner Malcom Derk (R) is expected to announce whether he’s going to run this week, and the local media are suggesting that he will make the race. Former U.S. Attorney Tom Marino (R) met Friday with party officials in Washington, D.C., although he has yet to make any kind of public statement about his interest in a bid.

Republicans hoped to make Carney a top target in 2008, but he won a second term by 12 points, even as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was winning the district by 9 points in the White House election.

The GOP has been frustrated by its inability to find a top-tier recruit against Carney this time, though Marino could be a formidable foe if he gets in the race.