The primary is just around the corner and incumbent Democrat Congressman Tim Holden and challenger Matt Cartwright are stepping things up.
Holden has held his position in Congress for 10 terms.
Cartwright, a Lackawanna County attorney, has never held elected office.
The two are vying for the nomination in the newly re-drawn 17th Congressional District.
“We have a very established incumbent in Holden and out of the blue has come Attorney Cartwright so I found that quite fascinating and I didn’t think anybody could be that competitive against Holden as Attorney Cartwright looks like he is going to be,” said Dr. William Parente of the University of Scranton.
The political science professor said this challenge will be one to watch especially considering the negative ads on both sides.
“This is what happens when the other guy is calling you all these bad names and saying these are all the things you did wrong, so I think you have to defend yourself but while you are at it, you might as well say something bad about your opponent,” said Dr. Parente.
Voters we spoke with either did not know Holden or Cartwright or seemed disgusted by the campaigns.
“Cartwright I think I’ve heard a little bit more, a little bit, but not much,” said one woman.
“I am just annoyed at all the advertisements that we see constantly being thrown at us, and each one of them is knocking the other one which is stupid politics as far as I’m concerned. I think it turns the voters off completely,” said Dick Furst of Lake Ariel.
In the end, Dr. Parente believes Holden will likely win the primary, but he said in politics, anything can happen.
“I would be nervous, yes, he is still a relatively young man and it would be quite an embarrassment to be knocked off by a first-time challenger who has no political experience whatsoever,” said Dr. Parente.