|FRANK R. MASCARA|
Frank Mascara, 81; served Pa. district with 4 House terms
Frank Mascara, 81; served Pa. district with 4 House terms WASHINGTON - Frank R. Mascara, an accountant and onetime factory worker who served four terms in the US House of Representatives until losing his seat after redistricting in 2003, died of lung cancer July 10 at a hospital in Monongahela, Pa. He was 81.
Mr. Mascara, a Democrat, was elected to Congress in 1994 from a blue-collar district in southwestern Pennsylvania.
He entered local politics 20 years earlier by campaigning for county controller under the slogan “Your Mascara is running.’’ He served 14 years as chairman of a county commission before his election to Congress.
A self-described “boring guy,’’ he seldom made public appearances in Washington and rarely spoke to the press. He served on the House Veterans Affairs Committee and later was a member of the House Financial Services and Transportation and Infrastructure committees.
He advocated raising the minimum wage, improving safety regulations to protect factory workers, and supporting unions.
After the 2000 Census, Mr. Mascara’s district was redrawn. The new boundaries put him in the same district as another Democratic incumbent, John P. Murtha, and the two faced off in a hotly contested primary in 2002.
In the campaign, Mr. Mascara asserted that Murtha would not face him in a debate. He posted 6,000 “wanted’’ posters around the district offering a $1,000 “bounty’’ to the first person who could persuade Murtha to meet Mr. Mascara and talk about issues.
Murtha won the primary, and Mr. Mascara returned to his home in Charleroi, Pa. Murtha died in 2010.
Frank Robert Mascara, the son of Italian immigrants, was born in Belle Vernon, about 20 miles south of Pittsburgh. His family life was hardscrabble: His father died of injuries from his work in a steel mill, and his grandfather was killed in a mining accident.
Mr. Mascara was a member of the United Steelworkers Union and was an accountant and insurance salesman in Charleroi.
He leaves his wife of 56 years, Dolores Mendola Mascara of Charleroi; two children from his first marriage, Karen Talbert of Belle Vernon and Frank of West Palm Beach, Fla.; a son from his second marriage, Jon of Belle Vernon; a brother; 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. A son from his second marriage, Mark, died in 2010.