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Tea Party Republican To Challenge U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- His name is hardly a household one yet, but Republican Evan Feinberg intends to make history next spring.

His goal?

Defeating long-time Congressman Tim Murphy in the April Republican primary.

"Tim Murphy is an Arlen Specter Republican," Feinberg told KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano in his first television interview, "and I wouldn't be surprised if he starts to lose the primary that he may even switch parties."

Feinberg, a native of Peters Township who has worked most recently for Tea Party icons -- U.S. Senators Tom Coburn and Rand Paul -- says Murphy is out-of-step with conservative fiscal values.

"By all accounts, Tim Murphy is one of the top 10 most liberal Republicans in the United States House of Representatives," he said.

What irks some conservatives is Murphy's votes with unions on some key issues.

"Tim Murphy's bad on spending, continues to vote for more and more government, and he's bad on jobs, continues to vote against workers and with big labor unions over and over again. And that's where the key issues of the campaign are going to be," says Feinberg.

Feinberg says Republican voters deserve an alternative to Murphy.

"On and on, Representative Murphy continues to vote across the aisle with the Democrats on major pieces of legislation that hurt job creators here in western Pennsylvania."

Feinberg, 26, has recently returned home with his wife, an Iraqi war veteran, and their newborn son.

The young conservative says he will have the money to take on Murphy.

Feinberg: "I'm going to have extensive local and national support for this candidacy and I'm very excited about the prospect about the race."

Delano: "Will you have the money to compete with him on television and throughout the district?"

Feinberg: "Yes."

Delano: "No question about it?"

Feinberg: "No question about it."

And Feinberg describes the choice in this primary battle succinctly.

"Tim Murphy is the kind of politician that tries to figure out what the big-monied interests in his district want him to do, puts his finger up in the air and makes a decision based on that.

"My style is that I look to the United States Constitution, and I look to the United States Constitution and say, 'What is the appropriate role of the federal government?'"

The AFL-CIO does rank Murphy among its more supportive Republicans.

In this Congress, of the 18 labor votes rated this year, Murphy voted 10 times with organized labor.

A spokesperson for Murphy had no comment on Feinberg, but said Murphy "votes his district and always does what's best for the region."

Feinberg will file papers on his intent to run with the Federal Election Commission next week.

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