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Fitzpatrick Gets His First Challenger

Kevin Strouse family
Strouse and his family

Sound familiar? A young Iraq war veteran announced Thursday that he will challenge Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks).

But it isn’t Patrick Murphy, the Democrat who held the seat from 2007 to 2011 when he defeated, then lost to, Fitzpatrick.

It’s Kevin Strouse, a former U.S. Army Ranger.

“I’ve dedicated my life to public service and solving tough challenges and I know Washington can do better at strengthening the middle-class, protecting our national security and creating good paying jobs,” Strouse said in a press release. “The families of the 8th District need leaders who have proven they will work for common-sense solutions, not the broken politics of Washington.”

According to his campaign bio, he was in basic training on Sept. 11, 2001 and soon after deployed to Afghanistan. In Iraq, he was part of the mission to rescue Army Private Jessica Lynch helping clear the streets and completing a successful rescue. He served three tours of duty.

He spent the next six years with the CIA’s counterterrorism center.

Strouse, 33, his wife and their two children recently moved to Bensalem. He grew up in Delaware County. He gave a long interview, including the video below, to the Bucks County Intelligencer.

Fitzpatrick is Democrats’ top target in Pa. this cycle, as he was in 2012. He cruised to re-election by 13 points over attorney Kathy Boockvar.

A few other names have been floated as possible contenders for the seat, including County Commissioner Diane Marseglia, State Rep. Steve Santarsiero, and Doylestown Borough Council President Det Ansinn. Not to mention Murphy himself.

But DC Democrats might have a hard time recruiting a more seasoned candidate into the race; Fitzpatrick term-limited himself and the seat will be open in 2016.

Here is the video:

24 Responses

  1. @Clutch,

    Your statement “Republicans respect and honor the service of veterans more than anyone” could not be more false.

    Republicans today offer the most lip service to those who serve in the military, but Republicans’ actions are often in the opposite. The accusation that today’s Republicans “live the soldier but hate the veteran” ring true — except Republicans’ actions reveal that they don’t even love the soldier.

    For example, during the government shutdown that House Republicans gave us, while soldiers were (retroactively) paid, many contracted deliveries of parts, equipment, and materiel were delayed due to the shutdown. Beyond that, House Republicans then went on to vote against a veterans’ job bill. These behaviors are inexcusable.

    Add to that the Republican-engineered cut in military benefits — see generally — and it is clear that Republicans do not honor and respect our troops. Stop spreading that urban legend.

  2. I am dying to support a Democrat who can win. This guy looks like a total joke. If the DCCC really put him up to it, they need new management. The takeaway from Patrick Murphy is that Bucks County is wild about military personel with absolutely nothing else going on? Someone should come to Bucks County and actually talk to a few of the voters. With Murphy that was a bonus, not the main course.

  3. Who cares if this guy is a veteran.

    He has lifeless eyes …. and an empty inflection in his voice … like he is just going through the motions cause he knows he is trying to pull a fast one.

    Besides, anybody who would move his family just to score political points is a schmuck.

    Republicans respect and honor the service of veterans more than anyone.

    But this stunt by Strouse is the kind of thing that will give veterans a bad name in politics.

  4. Didn’t the Democrats already try this with Trivedi? Even with military experience on a candidate’s resume, carpetbagging is never perceived well by the electorate.

  5. @Sklaroff. never have I heard such repugnant ignorance when it comes to a war veteran. The man served his country and has worked with the CIA’s counterterrorism unit since his deployment. Republicans will use men and women to fight their oil wars. but once they return, they spit on their service and tell them to buggar off. Did you serve? I’m going to assume not, because if you did you wouldn’t insult millions of Americans by saying this man “doesn’t work”. What a lousy shmuck

  6. A Delco transplant will not do well in Bucks. I lived in Blue Bell and people in Doylestown thought I was from western PA.

  7. Guzzardi suggested I clarify my last ‘graph, which is being accomplished by broadening its import….

    Kevin has neither private/public real-life employment-experience, apparently, and therefore would be less apt to appreciate the trials/tribulations of Americans functioning in both settings; if, indeed, he is a recruitment-product, his potential-candidacy would best be perceived as symptomatic of the overall strategy promulgated by BHO to retake the House.

  8. Fitzpatrick will be tough to beat, but nothing is impossible, and he should have won in 2006, and Murphy should have lost in 2008, but neither of those things happened either. For the record, Bensalem is not 2 to 1 Democrat. Of Bensalems’s 35k registered voters, there are just over 17k Ds and just under 14k Rs with about 4k others. The problem with Democratic voters in Bensalem, and other parts of the county, is that their turnout is weak compared to Republicans, and enough of the ones who do show split their tickets in favor of local Rs like Fitz and the Rs who run Bensalem. That, more than anything, is why Fitz has the advantage.

  9. All the comments from the D’s on this page omit one key-observation; nothing in this article states what this guy does for a living!

    Even the article in the Intelligencer omits asking [let alone answering] this rather basic query.

    If this guy is unemployed, he would fit the mold of other D’s who have not worked in the public sector and, thus, lack real-world experience dealing with BHO’s economy.

  10. Andrew, look up the definition of Gerrymander. You are obviously not well educated nor have any idea what you are talking about. If you did you would know that municipalities such as the 10 precinct Bristol Boro with a 10-1 democrat to republican registration, Morrisville which is 4-1, Bristol township which is 2.5 to 1, Falls which is 2.5-1, Lower South which is 1.5 1, and Bensalem which is 2-1 would all have been axed out of the 8th district.

    So please, don’t tell me about gerrymandering when the distrit is the least gerrymandered in the state.

  11. @seanryan. you’re obviously just a troll. Republicans gerrymandered the shit outa the 8th. They added the most conservative section of Montgomery county and subtracted NE Philly. House democrats gained more than 1.5 million more votes than House Republicans. Only reason they have a majority is because they represent almost no minorities. In Democratically controlled districts, Hispanics make up over 20% of the electorate. In Republican districts, less than 10%. Gerrymandering at its finest, baby

  12. @Sean Yes Steve is from NJ but he lived in LMT for sometime before he became a State Rep.

    And everything you said I agree with you. Fitz will cruise in his last race.

    For 2016 I was talking about it.

    I think if Jim Cawley runs for Fitz’s seat in 16. I think he will win as well.

  13. and one more detail that these political analyst love to forget. Fitzpatrick destroyed Boockvar by not 13 but almost 38,000 votes in Bucks County alone.

    Obama won Bucks County by almost 4,000 votes and Bob Casey Jr and Kathleen Kane trounced their competition in Bucks my margins of 14,000 and 18,000 each. To think that any dem could win in a mid-term election after the party failed so miserably to unseat Fitzpatrick in a Successful Presidential campaign with the remarkable get out the vote effort is laughable.

    Fitzpatrick will have another double digit victory.

  14. @Scotty, Santarsero is from NJ.

    Andrew, He moved to Bensalem recently after being born and raised in Delco. Duh Geography lesson, Delco is NOT in Bucks County.

    And Finally, PA 8th district is not a republican gerrymandered district. If you make that statement then you are borderline retarded since the gerry mandering would have left out the high density Lower Bucks portion of the district that is filled with Dems. This is on top of the fact that the district has a registration advantage for Democrats.

    The only way the Democrats will ever win back the 8th district is to stop running people that are left wingers. Patrick Murphy has had a strange obsession with gay marriage since he left office and Kathy Boockvar was as far left as humanly possible.
    Santarsero is too smart to run for a seat against an incumbant, he will wait till 2016. Hopefully the GOP doesn’t run an idiot like Ann Chapman who makes laftwinger Steve look moderate.
    Detlev Ansin is a fool to run for 8th district, his career highlight accomplishment is passing a breast feeding ordinance.

    Diane Marseglia would lose badly in a race against Fitzpatrick, this is a smart play, get a poor sap who doesn’t know how bad he is going to get trounced.

  15. Saw an article on a political website recently talking about how Democrat national Committee had contacted sympathetic veterans, and offered to move the vet and their family to a target district for the sole purpose of running them against an incumbent Republican.

    One person quoted in the story said it didn’t matter which district or where … the DNC just wanted to use these people to try and take back the House.

    Wonder what the DNC did to convince Kevin Strouse to move to the 8th district? When did he even move into the 8th district.

    This is the DNC at its smarmiest.

  16. @Andrew I do not need to be lectured on geography in Bucks County I have lived here all my life. He is not “from” Bensalem. He moved there to run for congress. Im not here to play partisan poltics. Just pointing out that the Bucks Dems constantly run candidates not from the area. I think its a mistake. It is a political liability. Then I even mentioned State Rep. Steve Santarsiero (A Dem) from Lower Makefeild. Would make a good candidate im 2016

  17. The 8th is too gerrymandered now for a Democrat to win, after removing the small section of Philly and putting in the ultra red portions of Montgomery democrats have little chance for victory

  18. Everyone seems to think smart money is waiting until 2016 when Fitzpatrick says he’ll retire.

    When was the last time a politician that promised to retire after X terms actually did so?

  19. @Scotty. he’s from Bensalem. Geography lesson, that’s in Bucks County. You’re welcome. The only thing embarrassing is Fitzpatrick’s voting record. Votes with the Tea Party 85% of the time

  20. He is the kind of Democract that can win in Bucks County. Kathy Boockvar was a joke.

    But Patrick Murphys win in 06 was a fluke. Santorum and Lynn Swann ran terrible campaigns state wide that hurt the GOP down ballot. The national wave against the Iraq war didn’t help as well. There was also a Liberation candidate on the ballot who took away a few thousand votes from Fitzpatrick. And Patrick Murphy only won with all that going for him by 1,500 votes. This seat is not play until 2016.

    Can democrats bring in a candidate from Bucks County for once? It is seriously embarrassing. Why not Steve Santarsiero?

  21. Santorum and Lynn Swann ran terrible campaigns state wide that hurt the GOP down ballot. The national wave against the Iraq war didn’t help as well. There was also a Liberation candidate on the ballot who took away a few thousand votes from Fitzpatrick. And Patrick Murphy only won with all that going for him by 1,500 votes. This seat is not play until 2016.

    Can democrats bring in a candidate from Bucks County for once? It is seriously embarrassing. Why not Steve Santarsiero?

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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