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PA-8: Naughton Prepping Campaign Announcement

naughtonYesterday, we speculated about the impact Shaughnessy Naughton could have on the 2016 PA-8 race. It now looks like we’ll have the chance to see that scenario play out.

Sources tell PoliticsPA that Naughton will enter the race early next week.

A chemist and businesswoman, she ran for the Democratic nomination in 2014 against Kevin Strouse. A political rookie, Naughton surprised her DCCC-backed opponent and nearly won, falling just 817 votes short.

This time Naughton is reaching out to the DCCC. While the organization is set on not getting involved this time, she did meet with Chairman (and New Mexico Congressman) Ben Ray Lujan, as well as their recruitment team on a recent trip to Washington, D.C.

PoliticsPA has also learned that Naughton has already put together a campaign staff including finance and consulting teams.

State Representative Steve Santarsiero announced last month that he is getting into the race.

On the Republican side, Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley remains a possibility while State Rep. Scott Petri is eager to get off the bench and take advantage of the open seat.

The Eighth Congressional District is currently represented by GOP incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick, who has made it clear he plans to retire at the end of his term.

Update: NRCC Spokesman Chris Pack released the following response to Naughton’s impending candidacy:

“We look forward to local Democrats engaging in another heated and divisive primary to see who gets to limp into the general election with the task of defending the failed liberal agenda of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama.”

23 Responses

  1. Although, I supported Shaughnessy in the primary last year, she lost my support with the attempt to remove Steve Cickay on the ballot in the 10th PA Senate District. Steve Santarsiero is the better candidate and has legislative experience in Harrisburg and at the township level. He is a nice guy and well liked by Republicans and Democrats a like. Santarsiero has better name recognition and can work with Republicans in the Congress. We need people with his temperament in the government at all levels. He is respectful, inclusive, encouraging, compassionate, a good listener, and committed to supporting public education and protecting the environment.

  2. she is a joke. she demanded the 10th senate district after she lost to strouse. now shes back to demand a seat in congress.

    What has she done to deserve any position?

  3. As a Conservative, I would welcome Naughton’s hat in the ring! Why? Because Republicans in the 8th will defeat her as badly as we did Kevin Strouse! Bring it on Democrats! We’re ready for you!

  4. The open seat will be interesting but only if Naughton doesn’t run, her last attempt was a complete disaster. I mean during the congressional primary watching her try to articulate positions on issues was like watching a bull in a china shop and then after that she tried to undermine the democratic process in a state senate race. I can see the ads now Naughton Is she worse for the district or the democratic process

  5. If Gene DiGirolamo runs, he’s probably the strongest recruit the Republicans could get short of Cawley or Tommy Tomlinson (who I don’t think has expressed any interest). Moderate profile, strong base in Bensalem which a winning Democrat needs to carry. Will be able to get some money from labor, which helps fundraising.

    I wonder what the Republican primary electorate looks like for an open-seat race. Gene may be too moderate. Wants to raise the minimum wage. Opposes privatizing the PCLB. Opposed pension cuts. Would this leave room for a tea-flavored primary challenger? I mean, a tea candidate didn’t do well against supposedly moderate Fitzpatrick, but he had an established county-wide profile already. Gene doesn’t.

  6. No the GOP is smart enough to avoid a primary although since Cawley is seemingly out you never know

  7. It doesn’t matter who the democratic nominee is – Gene DiGirolamo wipes the floor with either of them. Gene siphons votes and wins in places that should go to Santarsiero or Naughton. Gene 60% – D 40%. Run Strouse and Gene hits 70%

  8. Re: the last paragraph of the article above. Why do Republicans always go out of their way to be ugly, divisive, and bitter? Do they think it makes them look tough? Is it because they watch so much Bill O’Reilly? Maybe it’s because people tend to get cranky when they reach old age.

  9. I’m very excited to see what Shaughnessy can do this time. She’s obviously now an experienced campaigner, and I want to see her succeed!

  10. This is foolish. Such a costly primary battle will only hurt the Democrats chances of doing well in the General. Can’t she and other leaders see this is a repeat of the mistakes of 2014? If she really cares about PA8 going blue she should reconsider.

  11. If you lose to a guy who went to the general election and got pummeled, you’re probably not the best candidate.

  12. Nobody like you anymore, Shaughnessy–go away! You ruined the 10th SD race and are just out for yourself.

    Go Steve!

  13. She would need to be a better campaigner if she hopes to have a chance. But I think that running against a popular already elected official who will siphon support out of one of her best areas will make her a two time loser. She should run for state office and build from there.

  14. Aren’t you forgetting Rep Gene DiGirolamo? He would be a strong candidate in the Republican primary and the general, can’t believe he didn’t make this list!

  15. I’m always of two minds of the impact of contested primaries like this. On one hand, it bolsters the name recognition of whatever candidate wins. The Obama/Clinton primary showed that, as Obama was stronger coming out of the primary than he probably would have been.

    On the other, it blows a *lot* of Blue money. And the name ID isn’t necessarily worth it. Strouse v. Fitzpatrick shows that…

    I like Santarsiero and am not sold on Naughton. She definitely overperformed in the primary last cycle. But is that because she was such a great candidate, or because Strouse was an unusually weak one?

  16. $20 she was waiting until March to tie her announcement in with Women’s History Month.

  17. More evidence of just how bad a leader John Cordisco is. Only a fool would allow a primary to ensue.

  • 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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