Huffpost Politics

Mark Critz Will Skip Democratic National Convention To Campaign

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Another Democrat from Appalachia is skipping the Democratic National Convention.

Rep. Mark Critz (D-Pa.) said Tuesday that he will not attend the September event and will campaign in Pennsylvania instead.

"Since I was elected, my focus has been on creating jobs for people here, rather than focusing on the agendas of the political parties in Washington," Critz said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Critz joins three top West Virginia Democrats, Sen. Joe Manchin, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Rep. Nick Rahall, who said Monday that they too, would not attend the convention.

Critz, who represents southwestern Pennsylvania, has been a strong critic of President Barack Obama. Earlier in June he slammed Obama's economic speech. "President Obama and others in Washington need to realize that we cannot spend our way to prosperity," he said.

Critz won a special election in 2010 to replace longtime Rep. John Murtha and won again in the general election. He also defeated Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire in a tough intraparty fight in April. He faces Allegheny County attorney Keith Rothfus in the upcoming general election.

While Pennsylvania as a whole has voted for Democrats since 1988, Critz's district has become more Republican through 2010 redistricting, and even so, Obama lost the old district by nine points in 2008.

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