There are two candidates vying to unseat Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks), but the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is sticking with its man. Chairman Steve Israel is coming to Philadelphia next week to raise money for Kevin Strouse.
According to a fundraiser invitation obtained by PoliticsPA, Israel will headline a luncheon on June 11 with a suggested contribution of $1,000.
It will be hosted by prominent attorney Mark Aronchick, who previously served as Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association and as President of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation.
Strouse’s campaign and a national Democratic operative confirmed the event.
Last month Strouse was one of eight candidates nationwide selected by the DCCC’s “Jumpstart” program, aimed at providing logistical support to recruits.
The DCCC usually avoids competitive primaries, so the picture became slightly murkier on the entrance of Shaughnessey Naughton, a businesswoman, in the race. But it appears they remain set on Strouse, who is also the favorite of former Rep. Patrick Murphy.
Strouse, the first announced candidate of the contest, is a former U.S. Army Ranger who served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He later worked three years at the CIA’s counterterrorism center. Strouse grew up in Delaware County and he and his wife and two children recently moved to Bensalem.
Naughton, a former scientist and publisher, announced her candidacy last month. Naughton is a Point Pleasant native who was born and raised in Bucks County. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. in Chemistry, she briefly worked for Wyeth Industries before joining her family’s publishing business in 2003.
She dismissed the fundraiser as DC-driven astroturf.
“I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that the hand-picked candidate of the DC establishment doesn’t know his way around yet, but I think this illustrates the difference between me and Kevin: I’m going to fight for the Eighth District’s middle class families and small businesses in DC; he’s still trying to find his way from DC to the Eighth District,” Naughton said.
National Republicans, ever eager to zing a DCCC recruit, reiterated its efforts to link Strouse to Nancy Pelosi.
“Given the fact that Nancy Pelosi and the DCCC have sent Kevin Strouse from D.C. to Bucks County solely to run for Congress, it is no surprise that they’d head up there to help him fundraise as soon as he got settled in to his new home,” said NRCC spokesman Ian Prior.
Here is the invitation: