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PA-8: Another Fitzpatrick?

PA-8Pennsylvania’s most competitive congressional campaign could be in for quite the twist.

Nathan Gonzalez of Roll Call reported yesterday that another member of the Fitzpatrick family may seek the seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick.

“The local GOP organization has coalesced behind state Rep. Scott Petri, but Fitzpatrick’s younger brother is serious enough about running to move back to Pennsylvania after working for the FBI in California,” he writes.

The rumors revolving around Brian Fitzpatrick have been slowly picking up steam for a few weeks now. Nevertheless, it remains difficult to get anyone to openly talk about them.

PoliticsPA reached out to Congressman Fitzpatrick’s office but never heard back, while the NRCC pled ignorance.

From what we’ve been able to learn, however, talk has been spreading since at least PA Society and the younger Fitzpatrick apparently left the Bureau to give politics a shot.

This would represent a huge wildcard in this contest, as Fitzpatrick would instantly be the biggest name in the race, yet at the same time he’s completely untested in the political arena.

This news must be most distressing to State Rep. Scott Petri, whose campaign had been gathering momentum. Andrew Warren and Dean Malik are also seeking the GOP nomination.

In the Democratic primary, State Rep. Steve Santarsiero is running against Shaughnessy Naughton.

The 8th District consists of all of Bucks County as well as part of upper Montgomery County.

46 Responses

  1. The reality is that Petri is weak and loses to either democrat. He is a 6’10” state rep from the most sparsely populated area of the district and has no name Id south of route 532.
    Fitzpatrick walks in with $1 million in his brothers FEC account.

    Fitzpatrick by 5

  2. @ jmichael:

    I read that he is a psychologist, but I can’t find the article you cite; please provide the hyperlink.

  3. @rsklaroff
    There’s an article in the Advance about the doctor you mentioned, his name is Marc Duome. He’s apparently getting a good amount of underground support, it seems like the non-establishment movement is catching on. Personally I’d like to see an outsider who isn’t a lawyer or someone’s sibling.

  4. Tape is superb, on multiple levels; skipping the preliminaries [and noting commercials are, gratefully, eliminated], it’s worthwhile to re-listen to the fundamentals that roll-off his tongue…and that too few people know.

    Dean will do well if he doesn’t have to face spontaneous truth-telling if/when he selectively attacks a putative opponent publicly; he is a true-conservative…hoping the district will accept candid truth-telling.

    His spontaneous support for Kurdistan against Erdogan [amplified by his writings, dating back over the years] differentiates him from the pack, as illustrated by my writings during the past 8 years; this suggests his grasp of foreign policy should be emphasized…particularly how it relates directly to Homeland Security.

    Indeed, the qualities of both Dean and Scott are establishing a norm that Brother Brian will have difficulty aspiring to attain, noting that both are vets of prior campaigns; he is unproven…and won’t be able to rely upon the incumbent during candidate-forums.

    I have not heard Andy Warren speak, but I’m told he’s an expert on municipal-$; this is a few “layers” below the standard set by Scott and Dean who, respectively, know state-level and international-policies profoundly…and have converged well [and comfortably] when discussing national-policies.

  5. @ DoubleJeopardy:

    Noting how Mike has abandoned his conservative base, why would it would be desirable to place the GOP into “DoubleJeopardy” by supporting his brother?

    One might coin the term “Fitz-patrimonial” descent to depict what might portend, were Brother Brian to run.


    Furthermore, Dean Malik was an impressive speaker tonight [perhaps the “Bobby Jindal of Bucks County”], and it may be possible for him – as an ex-Marine – to mobilize others who are “marine-y” to assist him.

    If nothing else, the reader is advised to google Dean’s writings @ American Thinker [plus Jerusalem Post and World Net Daily]; he intuitively [correctly] knew of the importance of supporting the Kurds [about which I’ve been writing for ~8 years].

    He believes in seeking common-ground rather than compromising-principles, and he clearly/candidly conveys a command of the issues; I’m told his key-concern is that he would be able to match neither the anticipated-$ of Petri [deeply into 6-figures, perhaps] nor what Brother Brian would “inherit” as seed-$ from Mike.


    I haven’t heard Andy Warren speak, but I understand he is a nice-guy who – perhaps because he flip-flop-flipped parties – has become a multi-electoral loser; it does not appear anyone else has expressed serious interest in running [such as Tom Manion].


    Overall, a key-concern will be “electability,” and trotting-out Brother Brian, a greenhorn who would be announcing candidacy while invoking a high-recognition last-name…@ the last minute…hardly matches-up to the qualities evinced by Petri & Malik…because he would instantly be perceived as a front for Pat Poprick [justifiably or not].


    The Bucks County GOP leadership may feel it lacks a “horse” in the primary but, as Dean said tonight, its optimal role could be to facilitate dissemination of the messages of all candidates; although candidate-forums are anticipate, it’s unclear whether any party-endorsement would ensue.

  6. I’m excited to hear there may be another candidate getting in the mix. Competition is good for this race. So far the candidates who have announced are flat. They lack the back ground or spine to represent me. Someone who is an experienced leader with a background fighting terrorism may be just what we need in DC. So what if he has been working in Ca. He has been serving our country. Would you say that of a servicemen who was stationed outside his district? News flash terrorists don’t come to your door. Someone has to follow them. Kudos to you Mr Fitzpatrick. Thank you for your service and the time you have had to spend away from your family protecting mine.

  7. Looking forward to seeing all the Fitzpatrick supporters backtrack from their long-held belief that the #1 qualification for the 8th is having lived in Bucks County your whole life …

  8. Not normally one to post on these things, but it seems like this guy thinks he can come in late and gain momentum just because of his name. Levittown roots and his admittedly impressive background do not automatically mean he would be a good Congressman for our district.
    He’s been in Cali, which has a very different landscape than Bucks. If this guy has any hopes of having a legitimate campaign, he should officially announce soon, before it’s too late (it probably already is)

    While the other Republican candidates may not be “strong” they are names people in the area know. Brian may be a Fitzpatrick, but he is not Mike.

  9. His policy-statements are rather skeletal, although his stated-c.v. is more impressive than others on this website have ascribed to Brother Brian.

  10. Brian Fitzpatrick is one person, not Superman as he has been out to be on this thread. Does he have any type of executive experience running a government? No. Thus far, only one candidate has real experience managing a county and that’s Andy Warren.

  11. @ Clutch Cargo:

    Just like the cartoon of the 1960’s, your mouth is superimposed upon a drawn-figure; you should divulge the specifics of what you have heard, or withdraw hearsay comments.

  12. From what I’ve heard, Brian Fitzpatrick has been very influental in keeping this nation safe, not only by fighting global terrorism overseas, but also by fighting those dangerous jihadi forces that, under Obama, have been popping up all across this nation.

    His resume and history is quite impressive, regardless of who he is related to. I like the fact he is essentially a political outsider, never having held office.

    We need someone in Congress with a fresh perspective, especially in light of the malaise that seems to follow Mr Petri and the other GOP state representatives.

    Welcome Mr. Brian Fitzpatrick.

  13. I maxed-out two years ago for the MontCo-Congressional candidate, as well, [and worked intensely for others during the past two decades] but this does not negate my critique of what’s happening in Bucks; indeed, I had maxed-out for Mike TWICE [primary/general].

  14. @rsklaroff
    Because you just admitted you don’t even live in the district, maybe you should stop worrying so much about PA-08. Your comments are null and void because you can’t even vote in this race. Maybe you should start worrying more about the mess you have over in Montco, and give your money to your own Congressional candidate.

  15. @ multiple people:

    Well, there certainly is a modicum of excitement that this article has triggered and, therefore, this MontCo resident will reply; yes, I have known Mike for a decade and, yes, I have not concurred with his key-votes but, no, I cannot invoke that track-record [regardless of how others portray his popularity in Bucks] when assessing the prospect of Brother Brian entering the fray.

    My critique of Mike is predicated on the fact that he serves in a federal position and, thus, his public behavior [or lack thereof] affects me; thus, those who would be tempted to go ad-hominem should back-off recalling, for example, that I maxed-out for him six years ago [financially].

    My fealty towards the Founders is tempered by their not having been enamored of the work of the anti-Federalists for, as too few people know, it is the latter who formulated what ultimately became the Bill of Rights; without this innovation, the Constitution wouldn’t have been ratified.

    I will be meeting Malik tomorrow and was hoping to have completed a bit of homework ahead-of-time; the available info on the Internet doesn’t suffice, despite my concurrence with his A-T essays.

    Publius claims, “It sure sounds like Brian Fitzpatrick has the skills and experience our country and Bucks County needs in Washington right now” due solely to his c.v.; neither directly correlates with the “skills and experience” needed when functioning as a congressman…until/unless he has received a modicum of vetting.

    Publius also concurs with me that, “I too am interested to hear why he hasn’t gone public sooner,” for time-is-tight, and he would have to answer for the claim that he’s a [belatedly-emerging] Pat Poprick stalking-horse.

    Finally, the oblique attacks on Petri are appreciated, but only to the degree to which they are justified by documentation of his voting-pattern and public-pronouncements; I, too, have a major-league problem with what has occurred in Harrisburg during the past few years [well-documented @ PoliticsPA when addressing issues contemporaneously] and, thus, he will be subject to scrutiny in this regard, as well.

    His one comment during the current $-crisis was that he would not vote for any alteration in taxation until/unless the proponents of this approach were to justify anticipated expenditures; this was a prudent posture that reflects a proper GOP-orientation towards fiscal prudence and limited government.

    THEREFORE, I believe I have addressed all of the cogent-points that have emerged since my last posting; I remain pro-Petri until/unless credible evidence emerges that he is flawed and/or that another putative candidate can demonstrate greater electability.

    ADDENDUM: I care not about whether Mike can transfer his $ to his Brother Brian, but I do care about whether his brother has the ability to demonstrate a sense of independence from Mike [in some realistic fashion]; granted, candidates say more than they do, quite often, but this burden is intuitive [and, noting what has happened to “Jeb!”…quite relevant].

  16. Seems like some backdoor way for Fitz to break his term limit pledge to me. Last time I checked public office was by election, not birthright.

  17. I’m thinking he didn’t announce because he was too busy hunting down terrorists! I agree with the other commenters – need to learn more about him before supporting him. But I’m excited at the possibility. An already one time loser in Malik, a flip flopping Dem in Warren and a do-nothing Harrisburg established Petri will all lose.

  18. Someone call my name? These comments are hysterical.

    First of all, I’m pretty sure Sklaroff doesn’t even live in the district so is criticisms of Mike Fitzpatrick being too moderate is a joke. Do you realize what the voters in SEPA are actually like or do you live in this fantasy realm?

    Second, spend some time on the ground. Petri has support but it isn’t that strong or excited. I’m also excited to hear what Brian has to say, what he can offer and what it means for the families in the 8th District. Not those on the outside looking to influence it.

  19. If this Brian guy is so great why didn’t he announce already? Seems like it’s just a rumor probably meant to keep a retiring congressman relevant. Maybe the republicans should focus on who lives in the district. Id say time to move on past a Fitzpatrick.

  20. @rsklaroff
    Do you even live in Bucks? People in Bucks love Mike Fitzpatrick. You clearly have something against him. But the other 99/100 people think he’s a great Congressman. He shows up at everything and is everywhere. He’s been the best Congressman we’ve ever had (and yes, I am a Conservative like you). If his brother is anything like him, I’d be proud to meet him and proud to support him!

  21. @rsklaroff

    Publius, as you surely know, is the pseudonym used by the authors of the Federalist Papers. I’m not exactly certain why you think that is indicative of my fealty to the GOP establishment. To the contrary, it is a nod to our founding fathers and the articulate reasoning used in the Federalist Papers. Heck, the GOP wasn’t even in existence when the Federalist Papers were written..

    Regarding Brian Fitzpatrick’s positions and policies you have a valid point. I made it clear in my post that I was excited to hear from him. In fact, twice I was explicit one this point “I want to learn about him” and “I’m excited to hear what he has to say.”

    I too am interested to hear why he hasn’t gone public sooner. I don’t know, but perhaps the FBI needed him.

    I think you and I agree. We need to hear what all of the candidates have to say. What qualifies them for this position and where they stand on the issues. Until I heard about Brian Fitzpatrick I wasn’t thrilled about Scott. He hasn’t done much in Harrisburg. He didn’t do much before he went to Harrisburg. Of course I would support him if he is the best we had. Now, if the word on the street about Brian Fitzpatrick is accurate, I’m excited about the prospect of someone coming into the race with a track record of fighting political corruption and who has a record of working hard to protect our country from terrorists. The fact that he has huge name recognition is not, in and of itself, a reason to support someone. But It sure sounds like Brian Fitzpatrick has the skills and experience our country and Bucks County needs in Washington right now. That substance and the Fitzpatrick name would be an unbeatable candidate in the Fall.

  22. @ Publius:

    First, your choice of Pseudonym is indicative of your fealty for the GOP-Establishment, recalling that the anti-Federalists gave us the Bill of Rights.

    Second, you blindly support a “wildcard” without knowing anything about his policies, recalling that Brother-Brian may very well emulate Mike’s anti-Conservatism.

    Third, your viewpoint is derived from “word on the street” that fails to explain-away the procrastination inherent in this roll-out that may be occurring only weeks prior to the 3-week time-frame for circulation of petitions.

    We are not impressed.

  23. This is a real candidate running his name is Dean Malik and he’s running against this kind of patrimony. He’s the only candidate talking about what we need to do to turn this country around.
    Google his name, look at his platform wanting term limits and accountability for your representatives.
    Then I challange you don’t sit at you computer complaining get involved and help a real candidate like Dean Malik win.

  24. I for one am thrilled to hear there might be a republican candidate who can actually retain this seat!

    The word on the street is that Brian Fitzpatrick has had an illustrious career in the FBI focusing on two issues: political corruption and anti-terrorism. I can’t thing of two issues more important in the upcoming election. Couple a a background of real accomplishment in those areas with the Fitzpatrick name and it looks like we might actually have a republican candidate who can win!

    I want to learn more about him and see if the rumors are accurate.

    Word on the street is also that Petri’s support is thin. That’s not surprising given a record devoid of any real accomplishment and a palpable contempt voter’s have for the politicians in Harrisburg who do nothing but protect their own interests. Petri began his campaign by announcing that he would not not seek the support of party leadership and let the committee people decide the who to endorsement. When the rumors of Brian Fitzpatrick began Petri quickly shifted his stance and secured support from some of his cronies who serve with him in Harrisburg. Of course this support is meaningless since most of the supporters still haven’t had a chance to evaluate the full field of candidates. I suspect many of them would have held their support if they thought there was a viable candidate.

    I’m excited to hear what Fitzpatrick has to say!

  25. Yikes. If that’s the best we can do, we are toast! Settling for mediocre = Congresswoman Naughton.

  26. @ Frankie Jr:

    “[A] candidate who actually stands for something, works hard, is friendly and respectful and energizes people” is Petri.

    @ Mike Mabien:

    “Carpetbaggers are NOT the only ones that can win in Bucks County.”

  27. There’s zero enthusiasm right now on the Republican side. Voters are apathetic – including me. I’m waiting for a real candidate who can actually win. We don’t want another Murphy. Endorsements are nice, but they equate to nothing. Let’s get a candidate who actually stands for something, works hard, is friendly and respectful and energizes people. If a better candidate doesn’t emerge, count me out.

  28. The field is extremely weak and everyone knows it. It has nothing to do with “party control.” That seems silly to me. Residents in Bucks aren’t going to go out every weekend and knock doors for these guys. I just don’t see it happening.

  29. @ BucksVoter & Frankie Jr:

    You [purposefully?] miss the point; Petri is SO “strong” that the Bucks Republican Party LEADERSHIP is “distressed”!

  30. Seems like Bucks Republicans are not satisfied with the current list of candidates. Maybe a wildcard will be a good thing. If this is true, a Fitzpatrick with strong Levittown roots, an FBI background and no political ties (in the year of the outsider) sounds like a great candidate.

  31. These reports just continue to prove that Scott Petri is weak and his nomination would guarantee a Democratic victory in the fall.

  32. I sincerely doubt Petri is “distressed,” if for no other reason than this possibility has indeed been out-there for more than a month; his campaign-$ haul will dwarf that of his two putative competitors [plus, perhaps, as rumor has it, a St. Mary Hospital physician], yielding any late-entry to be perceived as crass recognition of the GOP-Establishment’s inability to control Petri].

    If, indeed, this is to be an open-primary – reflecting a power-play effort to negate the national support already rendered [as per an above-hyperlink] – then it will provide Petri an opportunity to develop his already-honed state-level campaign-powers; it would also necessitate an arm-twisting to reverse all the endorsements already enjoyed by a guy who continues to speak to all voter-segments, in all sections of the county [and who already has attracted powerful support from those who had supported the incumbent].

    Perhaps some feel the name “Fitzpatrick” will immediately engender voters’ affections, but others may not feel so positive [noting a rather Establishment-oriented voting-record]; thus, Brian would need to show that he’s more than a family-clone [and articulate ways he would attract support from conservatives].

  • 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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