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Democrat Hartman withdrawing from congressional bid
A crowded field of Democrats hoping to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township, got a little thinner as Christina Hartman announced she will be withdrawing her campaign.
Hartman had been put in an interesting predicament after the state Supreme Court issued the new congressional map in February, as the new lines are perceived as a positive for Democrats statewide but were a negative in the district where she was running.
She had been campaigning in the 16th District, currently represented by Republican Rep. Lloyd Smucker, of Lancaster, but that district became more Republican-leaning as the 11th District, adding southern York County, under the new map.
Instead of continuing her campaign to challenge Smucker, Hartman announced she would run in Perry's new district, the 10th District, which includes all of Dauphin County and parts of York and Cumberland counties.
She had been living in Lancaster but moved into Harrisburg when she made her decision.
"When the new districts were announced, I had to make a quick and difficult decision to continue my campaign in a new district," Hartman said in a news release. "After further consideration, I’ve decided that this is not the right time for me, and I will support the Democratic nominee in November."
Hartman's departure leaves four Democratic candidates vying for the 10th District nomination: George Scott, of Franklin Township; Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson, of York Township; Alan Howe, of Carlisle; and Eric Feigl-Ding, of Carlisle.
Hartman's announcement Tuesday, March 27, comes on the heels of Scott's campaign sending out a news release Monday, March 26, that it planned to challenge signatures on her petition.
Brad Koplinski, Scott's campaign manager, said he found more than 400 signatures of the approximately 1,300 Hartman filed to be ineligible for reasons including the signer being registered to another party, not registered at all or registered in another district.
Congressional candidates need at least 1,000 valid signatures to appear on the ballots for the May 15 primary.
A former Harrisburg city councilman, Koplinski said he has successfully challenged petitions in the past, including kicking Jay Paterno off the ballot for lieutenant governor in 2014.
Scott said the challenge was "nothing personal" but about making sure all candidates adhere to the same standards.
Mike Wilson, Hartman's campaign manager, told The York Dispatch that Hartman's decision was made before receiving Scott's challenge.
— Reach David Weissman at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.