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Shuster gets nomination for dad's House seat

February 17, 2001

Shuster gets nomination for dad's House seat



From staff and AP reports


HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Bill Shuster's bid to follow his father into Congress received a major boost Saturday when he won the Republican nomination on the first ballot.

Shuster, 40, a Blair County auto dealer, was nominated in a Juniata College auditorium, winning 69 of the 133 delegates at the 9th District GOP nominating convention. Five rivals split 64 delegates and five others were shut out.

Shuster will face Democrat H. Scott Conklin, a Centre County Commissioner, and Green Party nominee Alanna Hartzock in a May 15 special election. The heavily Republican district includes all of Bedford, Blair, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin and Snyder counties and parts of Centre, Clearfield and Perry counties.

The winner will fill the vacancy created by the Feb. 3 resignation of Shuster's father, U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, R-Pa.

"I was very proud to win, and I will be a committed conservative. And I will work with Republicans for lower taxes and to keep our families together by creating more good jobs here," Shuster said.

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"I have a lot of work to do, and I am grateful that the other candidates reached out to give me their support."

The elder Shuster said he was "thrilled and proud" of his son.

State Rep. Patrick Fleagle, R-Waynesboro, finished second with 38 delegates. Blair County Commissioner and county Republican Chairman John Eichelberger finished third with 10 votes.

Rep. Lynn Herman, R-Centre, won eight delegates. Fulton County Treasurer Bonnie Mellott-Keefer and Monte Kemmler of Franklin County each received four votes.

Delegates voted using green cards, said Fleagle, who attended the voting session. When each candidate's name was called, any delegate who wanted to vote for that person had to hand over the green card.

Because everyone could tell for whom the delegates were voting, Fleagle said he was concerned that some delegates could be intimidated into voting for certain candidates.

Allen Twigg, chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party, made a motion to use secret ballots, but didn't get enough votes, Fleagle said.

"I am so proud of the Franklin County delegation and the support they gave me. I feel bad that they had to go through that today," Fleagle said.

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