A Manns Choice resident is considering a run for office against U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster in the 2014 Republican primary.
Art Halvorson, 57, said he has established an exploratory committee to examine a run for the seat. Halvorson said that after watching the “painful” fiscal cliff talks in Washington, D.C., he decided someone else needed to run in the 9th Congressional District.
“Republicans did not represent me,” he said. “They looked foolish and they tarnished the brand. So I got angry.”
Halvorson said Shuster is part of the Republican establishment.
“I would not have done this but I could not find anyone else to do it, so the Lord said, ‘Art you do it,” he said.
Halvorson said he put serious consideration into the financial and emotional costs of entering a national political race. He said 40 years of the Shuster brand is too much. Shuster’s father, Bud, held the seat until 2001.
“I think Mr. Shuster needs to be challenged,” he said. “He is not an authentic conservative. I am a veteran and a businessman.”
Halvorson is a retired Coast Guard captain and the owner of four companies that hold and manage commercial real estate around the country.
Halvorson said he would be a citizen legislator, not a career politician, and would sign a pledge that he would serve no more than three terms.
“I want to go in, fix this mess, get some backbone in the Republican Party and get out of there,” he said.
The 9th District includes parts of Blair, Fayette, Greene, Washington, Westmoreland, Somerset, Indiana, Franklin, Fulton, Bedford and Huntingdon counties.
Shuster won the office in a special election in 2001. He was named chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in November.