Family and friends came together to celebrate the announcement of a new candidate for the Pennsylvania 16th Congressional District.

Preston Nouri (D) announced Thursday afternoon that he is running against U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R).

Born and raised in Erie, Nouri has worked for the U.S. House of Representatives, Department of State, and currently works in international affairs and defense policymaking.

Nouri said he decided to run because too many young people are forced to leave western PA to find family-sustaining jobs and he wants to change that.

“It comes down to anyone who’s here as an American. They want the same basic three things; opportunity for a good future, opportunity for their kids to have a good education and opportunity to just be able to grow and buy a house and be able to just establish themselves. Regardless of Republicans or Democrats, it’s just good policy and good policy making that’s going to require that. Regardless of it, make sure that I can represent Republicans and Democrats the same way,” said Nouri.

Nouri added he’s prepared for the long campaign and is looking forward to the next couple of weeks