Hmm, hmm, hmm! Look what Massachusetts has wrought! Monongahela Democrat rises amid the racist rednecks in Western Pennsylvania to rage against the machine.
By Amy Revak
A Monongahela man with ties to Fayette County is seeking the Democratic nomination for Congress for the seat currently held by 36-year incumbent U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Johnstown.
Ryan Bucchianeri, a seventh-generation Pennsylvanian who was born and raised in the district, has announced he will seek the 12th Congressional District seat, and held his first rally earlier this month in front of supporters in his hometown of Monongahela.
Bucchianeri said he is “running a traditional grass-roots campaign.”
That campaign will include a meet-the-candidate event in Fayette County at 7 p.m. today at AMVETS Post 103 in Hopwood. He said he plans to travel to all areas of the district, which includes portions of nine counties, during the next few months.
The primary will be held May 18, and the first day to circulate nomination petitions is Feb. 16.
Bucchianeri, 34, is a former naval officer and Harvard Kennedy School graduate. After graduating from Harvard, Ryan worked in international business development as a manager at Lockheed Martin to enable the responsible trade of American technology and sustain American jobs.
In South America, he worked on a proposal to reduce the flow of illegal drugs into the United States, and in Eastern Europe he worked to strengthen regional security with NATO partners.
His mother, Rosemary (Rich) Bucchianeri, is a native of Uniontown and graduate of Uniontown Area High School. Bucchianeri’s grandparents were Dominick and Virginia Rich, and they owned and operated the Fayette Institute of Technology in Uniontown.
“I’m running for Congress to serve people of southwestern Pennsylvania, not the special interests of high-powered lobbyists who continue to maintain their power at our expense. Until we send new representation to Washington, we will continue to suffer the financial and ethical consequences of irresponsible earmarks and a power-structure designed to keep incumbents in office,” he said.
Bucchianeri, who wasn’t even born when Murtha first took office, said he looks forward to a competitive race and spirited debate this spring.
“I’m not going to be able to outspend (Murtha) but I will outwork him,” Bucchianeri said.
“Voters I talk with throughout the district are ready to turn the page and elect new leadership,” he said. “I’m running for Congress to bring a new voice to Washington and return responsible leadership to western Pennsylvania.”
Bucchianeri said he has a long family lineage of coal miners and educators in Fayette and Greene counties. He said he proudly followed in the footsteps of his maternal grandfather, Dominick Rich, who served in the Navy Seabees in World War II in the Southwest Pacific in the very same waters that he sailed years later as a naval officer.
“Public policy is a true passion of mine because I believe that responsible policy and good governance are the most effective ways to help others and have the greatest impact to improve our world,” Bucchianeri said.
The first-time candidate said he decided to run for this office because most of his background is on a national or international level.
He said while Murtha has had a long history of service, he believes people of the area are ready for a change.
“I will work to bring opportunity to a region that has suffered too long from economic decline.
“Most of my contemporaries have long left the district for opportunities elsewhere and our hometown streets and storefronts, once vibrant and bustling centers of commerce, are emptying at an alarming rate. This trend has to be reversed or we will continue to face the dire economic consequences of high unemployment and an aging population with little opportunity,” Bucchianeri said.
He said through infrastructure development, a well-trained workforce and innovative marketing, he would work to create and sustain jobs “throughout the district, not solely in a single city or a single industry.”
In addition to a better-educated and properly trained workforce, Bucchianeri said he would fight to bring the necessary infrastructure into western Pennsylvania to attract industry and ensure our workforce remains competitive in a global economy.
“With a vibrant economy and new opportunities, young people will stay in the region, energizing it for generations to come, instead of leaving for opportunities elsewhere,” Bucchianeri said.