Longtime rep Murtha passes


US Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) has passed away due to complications from gall bladder surgery at the age of 77. He served Pennsylvania’s 12th District, with a district office located in Johnstown.

Murtha was not a member of either the Commerce or Judiciary Committees, and as such was not a key player when it came to broadcasting issues on Capitol Hill. He was long involved with military matters, and came to national notice when he decided to loudly oppose the war in Iraq back in 2005.

RBR-TVBR observation: This appears to put another political seat into play. CQ Politics rates PA-12 as Likely Democrat, with Murtha running. Over at Cook Political Report, they’re already calling PA-12 a toss-up district. The 12th borders four other districts, with each party claiming two of them.

The odds are that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee figured Murtha could hold his own when it comes to fund-raising. We’ll bet now that this district will be added to its 2010 budget.