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Monday, February 15, 2010

Murtha's Widow Urged to Run for Husband's Seat

USA Today

Joyce Murtha for Congress?

The Pennsylvania papers are reporting that the widow of Rep. John Murtha is being urged to run in the May special election to fill the remainder of her husband's term. The 77-year-old Democrat died a week ago of complications from gall bladder surgery.

Murtha spokesman Matthew Mazonkey told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "While people have been mindful that this is a difficult time for the family, many have called to suggest Joyce as the perfect person to hold her husband's seat."

One possible candidate, former state treasurer Barbara Hafer, said she would support Murtha's widow.

"She would be a tremendous choice," Hafer told the Tribune-Review. "She is a wonderful woman, an excellent speaker. If that is what she wants to do, I would heartily concur."

Murtha will be laid to rest tomorrow at Grandview Cemetery in Johnstown, Pa. Former president Bill Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates will be among those attending the funeral services, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported today. The White House will be represented by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

About 1,200 mourners paid their respects Sunday at a funeral home in Westmont, Pa., the Post-Gazette reported. Among them were Ohio Democratic Reps. Zack Space and Charlie Wilson, and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

Rendell -- who also served two terms as mayor of Philadelphia -- called Murtha "the best ally I ever had" in Washington.

"No one is irreplaceable, but he was the most impactful political figure in Pennsylvania for the last 50 years," Rendell told the Post-Gazette.

The Post-Gazette said Joyce Murtha "had no comment on politics Sunday as she concentrated on greeting the hundreds paying their respects to her husband."

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