Argall gets into race, says pay raise scandal 'not the issue'

State Sen. David Argall (R) today announced his official entry into the race for Rep. Tim Holden's (D-Pa.) seat.

Argall said in a statement: "After many months with little progress from our federal leaders in curbing job loss, increasing debt, and more importantly a lack of desire to improve our national security interests, I have agreed to do what people in many of those neighborhoods have asked me to do -- I have decided to run for the United States Congress.”

Argall's announcement tour will take him through the 17th district today, ending with a rally in his hometown of Tamaqua tonight, according to the Allentown Morning Call.

While the NRCC was quick to trumpet Argall's entry into the race, the DCCC pointed to one of the state senator's skeletons – accepting a controversial legislative pay raise in 2005.
 
"State Senator Argall is grossly mistaken if he thinks voters are going to send someone with his kind of self-serving background to Washington,” Shripal Shah, a spokesman for the DCCC, said in a statement. "Multiple Pennsylvania politicians have already seen their demise thanks to the pay-raise scandal that Senator Argall orchestrated. He should expect to be next come November."

In an interview with local reporters Monday, Argall said he regretted voting for the pay raise, adding he'd donated the money to charity. But as he was speaking, Harrisburg activist Gene Stilp, along with an inflatable pink pig, were camped nearby.

"Gene campaigned against me in my House and Senate races. And each time, the voters decided that was not the issue," Argall said. "I understand that it will not be easy. It can be done. I wouldn't be standing here if I didn't think it was possible."

According to the NRCC, “Tim Holden is in for the fight of his political life."

The nine-term congressman hasn’t faced a serious opponent in the last few cycles, but in 2008 his district went decidedly for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).