The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

July 14, 2013

Making a run for it

Lawyer looks to take on Robbins in 2014

MERCER COUNTY AREA — A political newcomer from Hermitage is making plans to take on one of the old hands representing Mercer County in Harrisburg.

Hermitage lawyer Michael T. Muha, 29, is gearing up for a 2014 run against 50th District state Sen. Robert D. “Bob” Robbins.

On Wednesday, Muha mailed the paperwork to Harrisburg creating the “Friends of Michael T. Muha” political action committee, chaired by Hermitage Democrat Rhonda Paglia.

In the coming days, he plans to launch an official Web site, Facebook page and Twitter account as he prepares to run against Robbins.

Robbins, 68, is serving his fifth term in the state Senate. The Salem Township Republican hasn’t publicly announced whether he’s planning to run for another term next year. Messages left for comment Saturday weren’t immediately returned.

Muha used to be a Republican and even worked as an intern for former GOP congressman Phil English.

About five years ago, he said became disenchanted with the Republican Party, which he said has been co-opted by the Tea Party.

Muha described himself as a “Rockefeller Republican,” a reference for a political moderate that’s older than he is, and freely admits he’s “relatively young.” He wasn’t even born when  Robbins began his legislative career as a state representative in 1982.

“But I’m experienced,” he said.

And he’s now a Democrat.

“I believe the Democratic party is the true party of the people,” Muha said.

He’s been a private practice lawyer with an office in Hermitage since 2011, when he earned his law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

He also has a master’s degree in American politics from The American University, Washington, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.

He’s a 2002 Hickory High graduate who also counts anti-bullying and suicide prevention as pet causes.

In 2011, he shared his own story about surviving peer-pressure and bullying in school with Hickory students.

The GOP-controlled government in Harrisburg hasn’t served the people of the Keystone state well, he said.

“I feel that Bob Robbins hasn’t done much for us,” Muha said. “I feel the Republicans in Harrisburg aren’t doing a good enough job for people.”

The Shenango Valley isn’t “properly represented” by Robbins in the state senate, he said.

The latest state budget didn’t adequately fund education and passed the buck onto local school boards that were forced to make cuts and raise property taxes in many cases, he said.

It also failed to address infrastructure concerns with the state’s roads and bridges, he said.

The state isn’t profiting enough from Marcellus Shale exploration and should impose more taxes on the oil and gas industry, he said.

He supports fracking, but also has “serious concerns” about its environmental impact, he said.

He also wants to lead by example and encourage the Shenango Valley’s young people to stay here and make a name for themselves.

“We’re not doing enough to help kids, especially,” he said. “I want to be a voice for the voiceless.”

Text Only
Local News
  • News briefs from April 18, 2014

    ‘Nonspecific threat’ prompts evacuation

    Supreme Court refuses to hear couple’s appeal

    Lung Association offering free radon test kits

    April 18, 2014

  • Man admits to choking; rape case is dropped

    A Greenville man on Thursday pleaded down a rape case to simple assault and continued to deny that he committed any sexual crimes.

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge issues tabletop ads injunction against couple

    A judge recently handed down an injunction prohibiting a Sharon man, his wife and two companies associated with the wife from working in the tabletop advertising business within 100 miles of Sharon.

    April 18, 2014

  • Tech waste eyed for new contact

    The current Hermitage solid waste contract was designed to increase recycling while reducing the amount of garbage placed at the curb, and it has lived up to its promise.

    April 18, 2014

  • WaterFire Rekindled

    WaterFire Sharon has chosen themes for its festivals to be held on three Saturdays in downtown Sharon. “Elements” will be the theme July 19, “Origins” for Aug. 23 and “Motion” for the Sept. 27 celebration.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 17, 2014

    Man arrested for running from accident scene

    UPMC, Southwest eyeing security at hospital

    Crashes cause diversion of Interstate 80 traffic

    Court supports prison term in chase case

    Woman gets 5-10 years in crash that killed officer

    April 17, 2014

  • Officials pledge support to sewer project

    Publicly declaring their intention to donate county land to the Upper Neshannock Watershed Authority, Commissioners Matt McConnell and John Lechner said there’s no need for Commissioner Brian Beader to worry about the loss of the sewer project at the Interstate 80/Route 19 interchange.

    April 17, 2014

  • Griswold Avenue fire Neighbors tried to save victim

    As flames and thick smoke poured out of a Sharon house Tuesday evening, neighbors rallied to try and save the man who lived there alone.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman nabbed, sister sought in assault

    Southwest Mercer County Regional police have arrested a Hermitage woman for breaking into a home in Farrell and beating a woman and are seeking the alleged assailant’s sister.

    April 16, 2014

  • Despite good deeds, man going back to prison

    Linda K. Kretzer had nothing but praise for Raymond C. McKelvey.

    April 16, 2014

  • 15-year-old legal battle returning to county court

    State Supreme Court has let stand a Superior Court decision sending a landmark medical malpractice case back to Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

    April 16, 2014

  • Southwest mulls how to adopt study points

    Even though some members of the Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Department had little respect for a study of the department completed by a consultant, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. pledged to implement as many of the study’s recommendations as he could.

    April 16, 2014

  • Beader plans to resign, just not yet

    Democratic Mercer County Commissioner Brian Beader acknowledges that he intends to resign, but said nothing will happen until after he meets privately with the county’s judges next Thursday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Wildlife fund for park Aiding Buhl Farm animals

    Some of Steven Jubelirer’s fondest memories of his mother, Natalie, was when they would walk together in Buhl Farm park, Hermitage.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • News briefs from April 15, 2014

    Man charged with attack on his wife in Walmart

    Woman arrested for stabbing man with knife

    3 injured in pickup-motorcycle crash

    April 15, 2014