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Pitt Prof. Jerry Dickinson Challenging Rep. Mike Doyle, Says Region Needs Advocate For Climate Change, Universal Health Care And Racial Justice

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Pennsylvania's primary is just two weeks from Tuesday.

And while many incumbents are not challenged this spring in their own parties, a few do face opponents on the ballot.

One of those is Rep. Mike Doyle, a Forest Hills Democrat and long-time fixture in this area.

But this year, he has a University of Pittsburgh law professor challenging him.

Doyle was first elected in 1994 and has more seniority than any other Pennsylvania member of Congress.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

But his challenger, Jerry Dickinson, says that doesn't matter because he would be a stronger voice for this region.

"We're ready to take this district to the next level, to address these major issues nationally, and then put this district on the map," Dickinson told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Tuesday.

Dickinson says the region needs a stronger advocate for climate change solutions, universal health care and racial justice.

"It's that moment of time for change, a new guard," Dickinson said.

WATCH: Full Interview With Jerry Dickinson


Dickinson has a unique upbringing that shapes his views. He is a foster home child, adopted by white parents in Shaler with adopted African American and white siblings.

"We like to call it a multi-racial complex Brady Bunch family – that's what it was," Dickinson said.

But incumbent Doyle says he brings Pittsburgh values to Congress.

"I think western Pennsylvanians want a workhorse, not a show horse," says Doyle.

WATCH: Full Interview With Rep. Doyle


And he says his seniority has benefited Pittsburgh because he chairs the telecommunications and technology subcommittee in Congress.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"We are the fifth-largest recipient of federal research money in the country, and I've had a part of that. And that has led to Pittsburgh's growth," says Doyle.

"It isn't whether you've done something. It's whether you've done enough," says Dickinson.

"I would submit in the middle of a pandemic and with so much economic recovery going to be required after the pandemic, this really isn't the time to send a freshman member to Congress," said Doyle.

Democratic voters in the 18th Congressional District will decide on June 2.

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