Most observers agree Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) is the most vulnerable congressman in Pa. The National Republican Congressional Committee agrees: they added him to its incumbent protection program, and took a swing at his first announced Democratic opponent.
Kevin Strouse is a U.S. Army veteran who left the CIA and moved to the 8th congressional district a few weeks ago. He declared his bid for Congress earlier this month.
Now, the NRCC has launched a generic attack linking Strouse to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“Kevin Strouse’s attempt to fool Pennsylvania voters into thinking he’s an independent, moderate voice is laughable,” said NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek. “If Strouse gets back to Washington as a Congressman, he will be nothing but a rubberstamp for the Pelosi agenda of higher taxes, runaway spending and big government.”
The image above is what the NRCC is using in its web ads. It links to this page. The NRCC didn’t announce the size, spread or cost of the ad buy, which usually means it’s designed more to generate news coverage than web traffic.
“It is disappointing to see the GOP is already resorting to dishonest attacks against Kevin Strouse. It is clear they are willing to say anything in an attempt to smear a candidate who has an unimpeachable record of service,” said campaign spokesman Justin Lamorte.
“During his time in Washington, Kevin worked to defend his country with the CIA. What’s laughable is the insinuation that Kevin Strouse is a Beltway insider. Kevin is focused on continuing his lifetime of service in Pennsylvania’s 8th District.”
Strouse is one of four Democratic candidates to get the Pelosi treatment.
That’s partly because Fitzpatrick is one of 11 Republican members of Congress in the NRCC’s Patriot Program, which the committee uses to reinforce potentially vulnerable incumbents. He is the only member from Pa.
Enrolled members pledge to meet a variety of benchmarks, most notably for fundraising. In return, the committee makes available more of its own resources to boost the incumbents’ efforts.
Fitzpatrick was a Patriot Program member in 2012 as well, when he cruised to a relatively easy re-election. The 8th district comprises all of Bucks County and a small part of Montgomery.
Strouse is the first declared Democratic candidate, but Bucks County Democrats tell PoliticsPA that as many as 4 others have expressed an interest in running.