WILLIAMSPORT -- He's tried to enter the General Assembly through the state House, but now Dave Huffman is knocking on a bigger door. The Williamsport man has announced that he's seeking the Republican nomination for state Senate.
Huffman is challenging state Sen. Gene Yaw, a Republican from Williamsport, for the 23rd Senatorial District seat he won in 2008. The district now contains part of Union County but will get the whole county once redistricting takes effect in 2013.
And Huffman, in his third term as a county-elected Republican state committeeman, has come out swinging. In his announcement, Huffman called Yaw a "Republican in name only." He challenged Yaw to a January public forum and said he hoped to hear from Yaw soon.
Yaw, who Wednesday declared his intention to seek re-election, wasn't biting.
"That is such a fake and disingenuous comment," he said. "Yes, I read what he said. The petitions aren't even filed yet, and (Huffman) is not an official candidate until Feb. 14."
"I'm not sure where his support is, because from all the feedback I get, I have broad-based support," Yaw said.
Huffman beat former state Rep. Steven Cappelli for the Republican nod for the 83rd district seat in the state House in 2010, but lost the election to Democratic state Rep. Rick Mirabito. Huffman also lost to Mirabito in 2008.
Two elections under his belt give Huffman the name recognition and determination to run again, he said Wednesday. They also give him a better campaign strategy in "overcoming the smear tactics of the past," he said.
In his last bid for the state House, political ads claimed Huffman was accused of domestic abuse. The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reported that Mirabito ran ads including a claim that Huffman's then-wife sought a temporary restraining order in April 2001 in Jefferson County, Colo.