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We have made continuous updates to our Taking Back The House series and I have created a master database of all the races we have highlighted and links to all the prospective Democratic candidates. We continue to edit it as news on races emerge and we hope you follow it. For the master list, please click here.
Yes, its time to dust off our Taking Back The House series as I prepare for graduation and the country prepares for 2013 to turn to 2014. I know we have been a bit inactive over the past few months, but its time for the official relaunch of Pollitics Today. Before we get into our latest Republican target; here’s another little plea.
Please share our website when you can. It would mean a tremendous amount to me if you would either follow the Twitter account, like the Facebook page or just be a routine reader/commenter. I feel like we can build something special here.
But enough with the pity, you guys are here for one reason. To find out another potential pickup opportunity for the Democrats in November 2014.
Mike Fitzpatrick has been representing the 8th district in Pennsylvania since 2010 though its actually his second go-around in Congress. Fitzpatrick previously held this seat from 2005 to 2007, being ousted by Patrick Murphy in 2006, before winning the seat back in 2010.
Legislation & Notable Votes:
- Introduced bill that would defund the NSA if it violated surveillance laws
- Co-sponsored bill introduced by Todd Akin that would “redefine” rape
- Voted for the Paul Ryan “defund Medicare” budget
- Vowed to continue to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act
- Notably failed to show up for his swearing-in ceremony in 2010, instead tried to do it at another location (i.e. a reception with constituents) that landed him with ethics complaints.
- Was named one of the first targets by the House Majority PAC in early January
- His 2004 opponent, Ginny Schrader, was the recipient of a 2004 mailer by the NRCC that dubbed her the “Hate America” candidate. Fitzpatrick never apologized to Schrader.
- Is apparently limiting himself to four terms
2004: Michael Fitzpatrick (R): 55.3%, Ginny Schrader (D): 43.3%
2006: Fitzpatrick (R): 49.7%, Patrick Murphy (D): 50.3%
2010: Fitzpatrick (R): 53.5%, Murphy (D): 46.5%
2012: Fitzpatrick (R): 56.6%, Kathryn Boockvar (D): 43.4%
There are two Democrats in the race to take on Mike Fitzpatrick and both seem to be decent candidates. The establishment-backed/DCCC option appears to be Kevin Strouse. Strouse is an Iraq War veteran and has been very active, slamming Fitzpatrick in an op-ed for job losses due to the sequester. He definitely has an engaging profile and currently has about $325,000 on hand.
The other candidate in the field is Shaughnessy Naughton, a scientist and small business owner. Naughton has received an endorsement from EMILY’s List and a local Ironworkers Union which could help her get some traction.
Why We Can Do This:
Make no mistake about it, this won’t be an easy one as Fitzpatrick (sans 2006) has seemingly outperformed the district though, with the exception of Murphy, seems to be facing his toughest competition yet. Fitzpatrick seems to be a solid fundraiser as well so he won’t go quietly.
But there is a boon, Fitzpatrick has an apparent self-imposed term limit which will expire in 2016. Lame ducking yourself might not be the most grand strategy ever. Also, Fitzpatrick seems to be vulnerable against a “Generic Democrat” but we will have to see how they attack Strouse or Naughton.
Links You Oughta Check Out:
- Kevin Strouse’s Twitter
- Kevin Strouse’s Facebook
- Kevin Strouse’s Official Campaign Site
- Shaughnessy Naughton’s Twitter
- Shaughnessy Naughton’s Facebook
- Shaugnessy Naughton’s Official Campaign Site