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Democratic Activist Steve Irwin Enters Race For Open U.S. Congress Seat

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Steve Irwin, a longtime Democratic activist and Pittsburgh attorney, announced on Thursday that he is running for Congress next year.

Irwin joins a growing field of individuals vying to replace U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, who is retiring at the end of next year.

Nobody is quite sure what the current 18th Congressional District will look like, but candidates are already lining up to run in what is likely to be a Democratic district that includes most, if not all, of the city of Pittsburgh.

"It will not be the 18th when redistricting is completed, but it will be Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh is more than just the city of Pittsburgh -- Pittsburgh, the Mon Valley, the eastern suburbs," says Steve Irwin, a Squirrel Hill Democrat.

No relation to the late Australian crocodile hunter of the same name, this Irwin is well-known in local government circles having served as co-chair of the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative, chair of the Pittsburgh Public Parking Authority, chair of the State Securities Commission and now chair of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission's State Advisory Board.

"We really have issues that we are facing that we've never faced before, and we need people with experience, people who have gotten things done, people who know how to get things done," Irwin told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Thursday.

A progressive Democrat, Irwin says it's his experience at getting results that separates him from other candidates, including Pitt law professor Jerry Dickinson and Pennsylvania Rep. Summer Lee, who have both announced for this seat.

"Ultimately, we need someone who is going to get things done. The root of progressive is progress. We can't just be polarized and take a position and not move. If we don't move the ball forward and we don't make a material change in people's lives, then we shouldn't be in Washington," says Irwin.

Irwin expects other candidates to enter the race in the months ahead.

He says he hopes voters will look at his background and experience in judging who is best to represent this region in Congress.

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