By Matt Snyder
THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT — A hint that the primary campaign is heating up: Democratic congressional candidate Tom Myers, one of four vying for the chance to take on U.S. Rep. Phil English in November, has gone negative, according to the target of his attack.
Myers’ campaign took aim Wednesday at fellow Democratic candidate Kathy Dahlkemper with a news release titled “Kathy Dahlkemper states her opposition to the death penalty for (Osama) bin Laden.”
“Kathy Dahlkemper’s position is shocking to me,” Myers said in the release.
Mrs. Dahlkemper confirmed Wednesday she would not support the death penalty for bin Laden because of her strict pro-life beliefs, which put her in opposition to abortion, euthanasia and the death penalty.
She said Myers’ attack is “right out of the Republican playbook.”
Myers called on Mrs. Dahlkemper Tuesday at a debate in Erie to answer whether she would oppose the death penalty for the terrorist ringleader.
Mrs. Dahlkemper answered, “Yes, I would.”
The release from Myers – which also featured a YouTube link to his opponent’s full answer – called her position extreme and shocking.
“You would expect the American taxpayers to support this man for the rest of his natural life?” Myers said.
Mrs. Dahlkemper said that bin Laden would likely be tried by an international tribunal, not Congress, and that executing him would turn him into a martyr.
“I actually think this is nothing but a cheap stunt by Mr. Myers,” Mrs. Dahlkemper said. “I’m leading him four-to-one, he knows that, and he’s trying to find some way to resurrect his campaign which is really dying fast.”
Myers, who questioned Mrs. Dahlkemper’s numbers, said his attack is legitimate because Mrs. Dahlkemper’s views aren’t in line with the 3rd Congressional District.
Mrs. Dahlkemper added that she and her other opponents, Mike Waltner and Kyle Foust, have run clean campaigns so far.
“Everyone’s trying to gain votes at this point and gain support, but I think you need to stick on the issues and not be mudslinging,” she said.
One of the four Democrats will be nominated in the April 22 primary to run against English. The Republican incumbent is seeking his eighth term in the U.S. House.