Allyson Schwartz (D-PA-13) represents a district that John Kerry won 54-43. In 2008, she won 63-34. But she's scared this year. How scared? Scared enough to put the screws into the leaders of the national and state firefighters union to get a firefighter and bar owner named Brian Haughton to not run:
Haughton described himself as aggressive and passionate and told the crowd that Schwartz called the heads of the national and local International Association of Fire Fighters to ask them to get him out of the race, saying, "I don't want to run against a firefighter."
He thinks she fears a blue-collar Philadelphian as an opponent.
Rachel Magnuson, Schwartz's chief of staff, said the congresswoman spoke to the union leaders, but only to seek support, not to derail Haughton's candidacy. Magnuson noted that Schwartz has been supported by the fire unions in the past and added that the office will not have a comment on the campaign until a Republican candidate emerges. She did indicate that the incumbent is focused on jobs as the primary issue.
Not only did Schwartz make the call, but her staff weren't shy about it. In what would probably be a safe district -- in 2002 the Republican did get 47%, but Schwartz beat her by outspending her almost 3-1 -- she has to put on the screws to stop a blue collar firefighter.
Oh, and I have been told, but I have not been able to confirm, that the fire fighters have endorsed Haughton, one of their own. (this may just be in the Republican primary)