|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 12th district
May 18, 2010 – January 3, 2013
|Preceded by||John Murtha|
|Succeeded by||Keith Rothfus|
|Born||Mark Stephen Critz
January 5, 1962
|Residence||Johnstown, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Indiana University of Pennsylvania (B.S.)|
Mark Stephen Critz (born January 5, 1962) is a former U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district, having served since a special election in May 2010 until January 2013. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district during his tenure, which was located in the southwestern portion of the state, stretched from Johnstown to the southern suburbs of Pittsburgh.
Critz was the district director for the 12th's longtime congressman, John Murtha. Following Murtha's death, Critz won the May 2010 special election with 53% of the vote to complete Murtha's term. Critz was sworn in on May 20. Critz won a full term in November 2010 to represent the 12th District in Congress. He was defeated in November 2012 by Republican challenger Keith Rothfus.
Early life, education, and pre-congressional career
Critz was born and raised in Irwin, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh. He is the son of Mary Lou (née Rybacki) and William S. Critz. His father was of Slovak descent, and his mother is of half-Polish and half-Italian ancestry. In 1987, Critz obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, Pennsylvania.
“Most of my friends, their folks worked in the mill or were small business owners,” Critz told the National Journal about his upbringing. “There were hundreds of thousands of families that relied on steel directly, and when that started to fade the area got hit pretty hard.” National Journal wrote that after his college graduation, Critz “struggled to find work in the decimated local economy.” He “left the region for a job managing a Roy Rogers restaurant in Wilmington, Del,” in 1987. In addition to the Roy Rogers, he served as a manager for Spherical Concepts and American Eagle Outfitters.
He then took landscaping and construction jobs before becoming a volunteer for Congressman John Murtha in 1994. Four years later, he took a paying job on Murtha's staff, eventually rising to the position of district director. Critz focused on district issues, serving as Murtha’s liaison to the Flight 93 Memorial committee and the Que Creek Mine disaster site.
Politics PA reported that “Critz...attended a 2005 meeting with defense contractors and lobbyists and offered the Congressman’s [Murtha's] support for an earmark project that ended in the criminal convictions of three men.”
Critz was recognized for his service to the military when he was awarded the Patrick Henry Award by the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS). It is the highest civilian award issued by the National Guard.
U.S. House of Representatives
- Special 2010 election
After Murtha's death in February 2010, Critz, with the support of Murtha's widow and the Democratic Party, decided to run for the vacant seat in a May special election. He announced on February 22, 2010 that he would resign his position with the 12th Congressional District and seek the Democratic nomination to run in the special election, which was held on May 18, 2010. In the wake of his selection to run in the special election, Critz released a statement saying “he would make economic development his No. 1 priority in Congress.” On March 8, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party Executive Committee followed the recommendation of the district officials by nominating Critz. Of the 49 votes cast by the Committee members, Critz received 30.
Critz was endorsed by Vice President Joe Biden, who also campaigned for Critz in early 2010. In March 2010, Critz received the endorsement of the AFL-CIO of Pennsylvania. Critz received an 86% approval rating from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) In April he received an endorsement from the United Mine Workers. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare endorsed Critz.
- Regular 2010 election
In 2010, Critz spent a total of $2,428,377.66 on his campaign. His top contributors were Progeny Systems, Mepco LLC, and Concurrent Technologies. Critz defeated Burns in a rematch 51%-49%.
Critz decided to run in the newly redrawn 12th district. He defeated moderate Democrat Jason Altmire in the Democratic primary. Critz was defeated by Republican challenger, Altmire's 2010 opponent, Keith Rothfus 52%-48%.
Critz voted for Congressional adjournment in Sept 2010. Adjournment foes sought an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts before the November elections. The adjournment resolution passed 210-209. He voted against the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which passed the House in July 2010 by a vote of 239-192.
Critz received a 100% approval rating from both The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union. In 2009, he received a 50% approval rating from the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund and a 100% approval rating from the Society for Animal Protective Legislation.
The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers and the National Association for the Self-Employed gave Critz a 100% approval rating. He received an 85% approval rating from The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and he received a 50% approval rating from the interest group for Federally Employed Women. He opposes "Cap and Trade" and emissions trading in the American Clean Energy and Security Act. On October 12, 2011 Critz voted against free trade agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea. He says that he supports fair trade
Critz believes "Social Security is a contract between the government and Americans who have spent their entire lives working, and it is one the government must honor. I will fight all schemes to gamble your social security on the stock market." He opposes privatization and a higher retirement age.
Critz describes himself as pro-life, and has received a 100% approval rating from the National Right to Life Committee. He received a 0% approval from Planned Parenthood. He voted no on July 1, 2010 to limit Afghanistan military funding to withdrawal and other specified purposes and to require a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan. He also voted no on March 17, 2011 to removing troops from Afghanistan.
- Committee on Armed Services
- Committee on Small Business
- Congressional Coal Caucus
- Congressional Military Families Caucus
- Congressional Natural Gas Caucus
- Congressional Research and Development Caucus
- Congressional Rural Education Caucus
- International Conservation Caucus
- Marcellus Shale Caucus
- Congressional Arts Caucus
Campaign for Lieutenant Governor
Critz told a radio show host on August 14, 2013, that he would be a Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania in the 2014 election to challenge incumbent Republican Jim Cawley. He lost the May 20 primary to State Senator Mike Stack.
Critz went on to work for the campaign of Tom Wolf, who defeated incumbent Tom Corbett.
In April 2015, Mark Critz began work as the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Rural Development Council.
Critz, his wife Nancy, and their two children, reside in Johnstown.
- "Mark Critz (D-Pa.)". WhoRunsGov. The Washington Post. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
- Critz bests Burns in special election
- Cernetich, Kelly. "Critz Concedes Race to Rothfus". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- "Rothfus wins seat in Pa.'s redrawn 12th Congressional District". WPXI. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- VP Biden Campaigns For Democrat Critz KDKA, April 23, 2010. Accessed April 27, 2010.
- "Rep. Mark Critz (D)". National Journal.
- Murtha's open Pa. seat gives GOP hope Kathy Kiely, USA Today. Accessed April 27, 2010.
- "Critz Attended Meeting on Earmark Project". Politics PA.
- 2010 Special Election announcement Mark Critz Campaign site, February 22, 1010. Accessed April 27, 2010.
- "PoliticsPA: Executive Committee picks Critz in race to replace Murtha". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
- Faher, Mike (March 8, 2010). "State Dems back Critz". The Tribune-Democrat. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
- PA AFL-CIO Endorses Mark Critz for Congress Mark Critz Campaign site, accessed April 27, 2010.
- United Mine Workers Endorse Mark Critz for Congress Accessed April 27, 2010.
- "2010 Special Election for the 12th Congressional District". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved May 19, 2010.
-  Letter to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer signed by 31 Democrats, accessed October 7, 2010.
-  Clerk of the House Roll Call 546, accessed October 7, 2010.
-  Clerk of the House Roll Call 546, accessed October 8, 2010.
- Gibson, Keegan. "Critz to Run for Lieutenant Governor". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
- Unofficial results Pennsylvania Department of State
- Mark Critz official campaign site
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district