Critz was elected in a May special election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Rep. John Murtha (D) in Pennsylvania’s 12th district. His Republican opponent, Tim Burns, has run ads tying him to Pelosi, including one that shows viewers a picture of the Speaker and tells them they are “looking at the congressman for Pennsylvania’s 12th district.”
In response, Critz is running an ad saying that he “doesn’t support Nancy Pelosi” and that he votes “the same as the Republican leader “60 percent of the time.”
A number of other Democrats who have adopted that strategy, including Reps. Bobby Bright (Ala.) and Jim Marshall (Ga.), have ruled out voting for Pelosi. Critz wouldn’t go that far.
“I’m not concerned about leadership at this point. I’m concerned about winning my race,” he said. He added later: “I’m going to do what’s best for my district.”
Critz and Burns have a debate scheduled for Friday night.
Murtha was very close to Pelosi. The Speaker supported him for majority leader in 2006 over Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who won the post.