Wholey's owner to make run for Murphy's congressional seat

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Dan Wholey, an owner of the Strip District seafood emporium, has announced his candidacy for the congressional seat held by Upper St. Clair Republican Tim Murphy.

Mr. Wholey, 48, also of Upper St. Clair, is seeking the Democratic nomination for the sprawling 18th Congressional District, which has been described as looking like a "sloppily tied bow tie, with Pittsburgh's southern suburbs where the knot would be." Starting from the Ohio border in Washington County in the west, the district takes in a small piece of Beaver County, then swoops under the city of Pittsburgh before taking in much of Westmoreland County in the east.

Mr. Murphy is now in his third term. Mr. Wholey joins Brien Wall, also of Upper St. Clair, and Beth Hafer, daughter of former state auditor general Barbara Hafer, as candidates for the Democratic nomination.

"I'm running because the people of southwest Pennsylvania deserve better representation,'' Mr. Wholey said.

"Big Oil'' and large pharmaceutical companies have too much influence in Washington, he said.

"Why does Medicare and Medicaid have to pay top dollar for prescriptions'' when the "same medication in the same bottle from the same factory'' can be purchased for less in Canada, he asked.

He is anti-abortion, but believes that top issues in this campaign will be immigration and the war in Iraq. Our borders need to be more secure, he said, but "legal immigration creates diversity and success stories.''

He advocates a "much larger withdrawal" of troops from Iraq in the next few months than President Bush has proposed, but did not specify a number.

He has never held political office, but said he is not afraid to knock on doors. As a teenager, he delivered fish door-to-door in Mt. Lebanon.

A graduate of Boston College with a management degree, Mr. Wholey is married and a father of five.

Brian O'Neill can be reached at boneill@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1947.


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