The Lead

Businessman Rob Bresnahan announces campaign to challenge Rep. Matt Cartwright in 8th District

By: - November 14, 2023 12:08 pm

Republican candidate for Pennsylvania’s 8th U.S. House District Rob Bresnahan (Photo via Bresnahan campaign)

Rob Bresnahan, CEO of Kuharchik Construction, announced his campaign for the Republican Party nomination in the battleground U.S. House seat held by Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna).

“I’m running for Congress because I care deeply about Northeastern Pennsylvania,” Bresnahan said in a press release. “For too long politicians in DC have failed to deliver for our families. I’m running to be the next generation of leadership our region deserves and to fight for our future.”

Bresnahan, 33, joined his grandfather’s electrical business as CFO at the age of 19, eventually rising to the role of CEO and growing the company to more than 150 employees, according to a campaign press release.

Bresnahan is the only Republican to file for the race in the Northeast Pennsylvania congressional district so far. There are currently no other Democrats running for the primary in the 8th Congressional District. 

Cartwright, first elected to Congress in 2012, defeated Republican Jim Bognet by 2.4% in 2022 and 3.6%, in 2020. 

The race for the 8th Congressional District is expected to draw national interest. The National Republican Congressional Committee has placed Cartwright on its 2024 target list, while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also placed the Lackawanna County Democrat in its “Frontline Program” aimed at protecting incumbent House Democrats most at risk next cycle.

Former President Donald Trump won the 8th District in 2016 and 2020, the only Democrat-represented Congressional district in Pennsylvania to have that distinction. 

And The Cook Political Report considers the 8th District a toss-up for 2024

From the beginning of July to the end of September, Cartwright’s campaign raised just over $740,000, which is more than any other congressional candidate in Pennsylvania during that time period.

Cartwright has raised just over $1.8 million in the election cycle to date, trailing only Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks), in the state’s congressional delegation.

Cartwright entered October with $1.4 million cash on hand.

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John Cole
John Cole

John Cole is a journalist based in Philadelphia. He's worked for various outlets such as The Northeast Times, PoliticsPA, and PCN. In these previous roles, he covered a wide range of topics from local civic association meetings to races across the commonwealth. He earned a degree in journalism from Temple University.