PA1: Fitzpatrick Doubles Highest Dem Fundraiser in Q4
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) ended 2019 with a significant cash advantage over the field of Democrats attempting to unseat him.
Fitzpatrick’s campaign raised $525,000 from the beginning of October to the end of December, while spending just over $190,000 during this time period. His fourth quarter haul was his most successful quarter in 2019 and a significant bounceback from the previous quarter, which was his lowest of the year, raising just over $400,000.
The second term Republican in the Philadelphia suburbs has now raised $1.94 million in the election cycle-to-date and entered 2020 with just over $1.4 million cash on hand.
Debbie Wachspress, a Pennsbury School Board member who has been endorsed by all three Democrats who ran for the seat in 2018, had the most successful quarter of the three Democrats vying for their party’s nomination.
Wachspress’s campaign raised $235,000 from the beginning of October to the end of December, while spending just over $70,000 during this time period. She has raised $450,000 since formally entering the race over the summer, which includes a $50,000 loan.
Wachspress entered 2020 with $355,000 cash on hand.
The two other Democrats running for the seat didn’t come close to Wachspress’s fourth quarter haul.
Christina Finello, an Ivyland Borough Councilwoman who has been endorsed by the Bucks County Democratic Party, raised $20,000 from the beginning of October to the end of December, while spending just over $40,000 during that time period. She’s raised just over $80,000 since formally entering the race over the summer, but has spent $70,000 in the election cycle-to-date.
Finello entered 2020 with just over $10,000 cash on hand.
Hurwitz entered 2020 with just under $7,000 cash on hand.
Like Fitzpatrick’s previous bid for Congress, he is also facing a pro-Trump Republican and financial advisor, Andrew Meehan, in the GOP primary.
Meehan raised $25,000, which is more than two Democrats attempting to unseat Fitzpatrick, in the most recent filing period from the beginning of October to the end of December, while spending just under $20,000.
Meehan has the lowest cash on hand total of any candidate in the race entering 2020 with $6,000.
Fitzpatrick’s 2018 bid for Congress against well funded Democratic challenger Scott Wallace was the most expensive Congressional race in the state last cycle, and the 7th most expensive Congressional race in the country, according to Open Secrets. $18 million total was raised between both candidates.
Since the previous campaign finance report, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball moved the race in the 1st Congressional District from Toss-Up to Leans Republican, describing it as a “perennial swing seat covering Bucks County,” in which Fitzpatrick has “not drawn an obviously strong opponent this time.”
“Nationalization could be his undoing if Trump’s two-point deficit in the current version of his district expands, but he should be favored at this juncture,” Kyle Kondik writes for Sabato’s Crystal Ball.
Fitzpatrick is one of three Pennsylvania Republicans being targeted by the DCCC’s initial 2020 list, along with Reps. Mike Kelly (R-Butler) and Scott Perry (R-York).