The Hill’s 50 races to watch


Pennsylvania 24th District

Mark Critz (D) vs Keith Rothfus (R)

Rep. Mark Critz (D) faced two tough contests this cycle: his Democratic primary, where he beat fellow lawmaker Jason Altmire and now his general election contest with Republican Keith Rothfus.

But Critz is used to having to fight for this congressional seat. He first won it in a 2010 special election to replace the late-Rep. John Murtha (D). Republicans made a serious play for the district, but with an outpouring of help from the national party and organized labor, Critz prevailed.

And 2012 didn’t get any easier. The primary with Altmire was brutal, and Critz won a thin victory with 51 percent of the vote. 

Rothfus, a former attorney with the Department of Homeland Security, first ran for office in 2010, barely losing to Altmire in the 4th district, which was folded into the 12th last year during the redistricting process. That move also made the 12th district much more Republican-leaning.

As a sign of how important this race is to both parties, they’ve each sent in the heavyweights: Former President Clinton has campaigned for Critz, and the House GOP leadership is helping Rothfus.

The Hill rates this race as a toss-up.