EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — A local race is being closely watched across the nation– it’s for the seat in the 8th congressional district.

Many political observers say it could be a so-called ‘flip seat.’ Longtime incumbent congressman Matt Cartwright will face Republican Jim Bognet. It is a rematch of the 2020 race in which Cartwright defeated Bognet.

This race is in the national spotlight as political analysts Eyewitness News spoke with say the outcome of this race can be viewed as a referendum on the policies of the Biden Administration.

The 8th Congressional District encompasses all of Lackawanna, Wayne, and Pike counties and portions of Monroe and Luzerne counties. It also includes the cities of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and Hazleton.

Republican Jim Bognet from Hazle Township will once again face off against Democrat Matt Cartwright from Moosic, who is seeking a sixth term.

“Well, literally if you’re happy with the way things are going you should vote for my opponent. If you think we need big change, you’re tired of $5 a gallon gasoline, you’re tired of illegal immigration steaming across our border I think you should vote for me and change in November,” explained Jim Bognet-(r) candidate for 8th congressional district seat.

Bognet insists that ‘dinner table issues’ will be his focus if elected..

“First of all getting this horrible inflation under control. If you look across the street, diesel gas is costing $7.22 a gallon. Regular is $5.09 a gallon. People in Northeastern Pennsylvania are getting killed by these outrageous Biden-Cartwright prices,” said Jim Bognet-(r) Candidate for 8th Congressional seat.

Eyewitness News spoke with Cartwright Monday in Pittston and he told us he did not want to comment on the election or campaign at this point in time. But rather wanted to focus on doing his job, in his words. Working for the people of Northeastern Pennsylvania. He says his official campaign will launch next month and he insists he will address the issues at that time.

Cartwright defeated Bognet in November of 2020 by just over 12,000 votes. Eyewitness News asked Bognet, Why he believes he can win this time around?

“I think what’s different is everybody knows who I am this time. I almost won last time this time I will win just like Rocky Balboa in Rocky II, we will win this fight,” said Bognet.

Bognet, who was endorsed by former President Trump defeated fellow Republican Mike Marsicano in the primary.

Cartwright ran unopposed.