The Americans for Responsible Solutions SuperPAC announced their support of Congressman Fitzpatrick on Tuesday. The group was created by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband astronaut Mark Kelly.
Giffords, of course, suffered injuries from a shooting at a constituent event in January 2011. The SuperPAC was created to fight for gun control measures in the U.S. Congress.
They declared their support for a number of candidates, several of which were Senate Democrats. In fact, only two Republicans will benefit from the organization’s spending. Rep. Fitzpatrick is the only GOP Congressman while Republican Senator from Maine Susan Collins is the other. With Collins holding a 36-point lead, Fitzpatrick is the only Republican in any danger of losing re-election.
The group apparently chose to back Fitzpatrick because of his co-sponsorship of H.R. 1565, a House companion to the Manchin-Toomey bill. While the act never saw the light of day, Fitzpatrick was one of only three members of the GOP to sign on (Peter King of New York introduced the measure and PA-7 Rep. Pat Meehan joined his SEPA colleague as the twin co-sponsor).
“It’s important that leaders from both parties who put their necks out there and showed some courage on the issue of gun violence prevention get to keep their job,” Kelly told reporters in a conference call Tuesday.
“Mike Fitzpatrick is someone that always puts his district first and is willing to work in a bipartisan manner to get results,” Ian Prior of the NRCC responded. “It is no surprise that he has widespread support across the political spectrum.”
Fitzpatrick is running against Iraq and Afghan war veteran and Democratic nominee Kevin Strouse in November.
Update: “What does it say about the effectiveness of a Congressman when his own party controls Congress and he can’t get his own bill to see the light of day?” Strouse Campaign Manager Brendan McPhillips responded. “Pennsylvania voters are tired of the empty rhetoric from Congressman Fitzpatrick, who will align himself with the Tea Party one day, and cast them aside the next, depending on which way the wind is blowing. Voters have a choice this fall between an empty suit who will say anything to save his political skin but never backs it up with action, or a proven leader in Kevin Strouse, who has put his life on the line to defend our American values and won’t cower from a tough fight when he’s representing the people of the 8th District.”