Pitt’s Chris Deluzio seeks to succeed Conor Lamb in Congress

Chris Deluzio, policy director of Pitt’s Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security and adjunct professor in the School of Law, is running to represent the 17th Congressional District.

via University of Pittsburgh

Chris Deluzio, policy director of Pitt’s Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security and adjunct professor in the School of Law, is running to represent the 17th Congressional District.

By Natalie Frank, News Editor

Chris Deluzio announced he is running to represent the 17th Congressional District on Monday. The current position belongs to Rep. Conor Lamb, a Democrat, who is running for U.S. Senate.

Deluzio, policy director of Pitt’s Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security and adjunct professor in the School of Law, said he’s running for the House seat to ensure the government is serving everyone — not just those in power. The swing district includes portions of Allegheny, Beaver and Butler counties.

“I’m running because I love this country, I love western Pennsylvania, where I was raised and from and live, and want to do everything I can to make sure that we’ve got a government and a society that’s serving all of us and not just the most powerful,” Deluzio said.

Deluzio joined the Naval Academy after graduating high school in Thornburg, which is located about 20 minutes west of Oakland. After serving in Iraq after the 9/11 attacks, he said he was “profoundly” shaped by his service and will take what he learned from this experience to his campaign.

“I was shaped profoundly by my time in uniform, what it meant to serve others, and learn pretty quickly the power of solidarity,” Deluzio said. “We don’t leave people behind, regardless of race, or class, or who they love, what they look like, where they’re from, it doesn’t matter. I look around, though, and I see way too many people being left behind.” 

Deluzio said in Congress, he hopes to take on the powerful and the “richest” corporations to ensure they aren’t being served more by the government than the people of Pittsburgh.

“I think it starts with, we’ve got to have a recognition that and a willingness to take on the power that the biggest, richest corporations are wielding over nearly every aspect of our lives,” Deluzio said. “It threatens our freedom to live with dignity, our shared prosperity, and I see Washington serving those corporations more than they’re serving all of us here in western Pennsylvania.” 

Deluzio, who’s stepping into politics for the first time with this bid, said his campaign also focuses on ensuring everyone has health care coverage, bolstering infrastructure, creating jobs, protecting unions, protecting social security and veterans benefits and more.

“I come back to this theme, which is central to me, to putting our common good first and above self interest,” Deluzio said. “And so that’s got to mean fighting for policies investing in us.”

As far as funding goes, Deluzio said he will have a grassroots campaign, with the majority of his funding coming from “real people” instead of corporations.

“I’ll tell you where it’s not gonna come from, I’m not going to take a cent of corporate PAC money, this campaign will be financed by people, real people.” Deluzio said. “So we are starting there with, we’re not going to take money from corporate PACs, we’ll do everything we can to have this be a people-powered grassroots campaign, and I think there’s a lot more power in that than the corporate PAC money Republican state.” 

Deluzio said he’s still continuing his time teaching at Pitt and directing the Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security during his campaign. He said one thing he’s learned in these positions and others that he’s focusing on fixing in his time in Congress is that “democracy here is under attack.”

“One of the things that I know from my work both at Pitt Cyber at the Brennan Center … is that our democracy here is under attack,” Deluzio said. “We see it in Harrisburg and Pennsylvania, we see it across the country. As someone who’s dedicated a lot of my life to protecting our right to vote and securing our elections in our democracy, I don’t view it as an option to sit back, our politicians on the right are attacking our rights and threatening the health of our democracy.”

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