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Veteran Rep. Pitts up for seventh consecutive reelection

By Cristiano Lima, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Mar 11 2014 09:39:06 PM CDT

Republican Joseph Pitts has declared his intent to seek re-election, with three opponents vying to defeat the long-time representative of Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District.

Pitts was first elected in 1997 by the district, which includes part of Chester and Lancaster counties as well as parts of Berks County including the city of Reading.

Since then he has withstood seven different challenges from the Democratic Party, the latest of which came against Aryanna Strader in 2012.

His latest victory margin however was the smallest during his tenure with Pitts gaining 55 percent of the popular vote.

As of Tuesday’s primary filing deadline, two candidates have declared their campaigns.

Among them is Thomas Houghton, who previously served a term as representative of Pennsylvania’s 13th District.

Due to his home in West Grove being moved in redistricting, Houghton has opted to run against the incumbent Pitts.

Like many Democratic challengers to incumbent Republicans, Houghton has pinpointed the government shutdown and the lack of compromise in Congress as a reason for running for office.

He is also a strong supporter of the Pa. Farm Bureau.

Raja Kittappa, another Democratic nominee, remains an enigma, in spite of his declaration for candidacy, due to a lack of public appearances and a publicly accessible platform.

Robert Nulton is also expected to declare by the Aug. 1 filing deadline for third-parties and independents.

Nulton represents the Constitution Party of Pennsylvania, a right-wing organization that bases many of its values and positions on Christian theocracy and the Bible.

He opposes the Affordable Care Act, is a proponent on increased military spending and believes taxation should be reduced or at least not be increased.

Primary elections for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will take place May 20.