It’s getting close to the end of the third fiscal quarter, which means Congressional candidates have to pull out all the stops.
Kevin Strouse, a Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania’s Eighth District, is pulling out the biggest gun of all: Nancy Pelosi. Of course, with any big gun there’s always the possibility of backfire.
“A lot of people will be asking for your help before Monday’s big fundraising deadline — and there’s a lot of important races out there,” Rep. Pelosi wrote in a fundraising email to Strouse’s supporters Friday. “But, here’s one I think deserves your attention: Kevin Strouse in Pennsylvania’s 8th district.”
“Kevin is in a tough race, and Speaker Boehner and National Republicans are targeting Kevin’s campaign. If we want to win this race, we’ve got to get the truth out to voters about Kevin’s record.”
The former House Speaker ends the plea with praise of the candidate and a final ask for a contribution.
“I wish we could have more leaders like Kevin in Washington. Do your part today and make sure he hits his grassroots goal.”
Three days ago, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel sent out a similar pitch for Strouse’s campaign.
The missive from Pelosi came just one day after incumbent Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) warned his own supporters that he was on her list.
“Former Speaker Pelosi has indicated that I am once again on her target list of seats that the Democrats must win. A weak fundraising report will move me up on her list of targets and put the 8th district and our communities in her crosshairs,” he wrote.
Borrowing from it’s 2010 and 2012 playbooks, the GOP is intent on linking Strouse to Pelosi.
“As we have said numerous times, Kevin Strouse is the handpicked candidate of Nancy Pelosi, flown in to Bucks County from Washington D.C. in an effort to make Pelosi Speaker of the House again,” said Ian Prior of the NRCC. “The fact that she is sending out fundraising emails on Strouse’s behalf is Exhibit A that his first vote in Congress would be for a Pelosi speakership, and every vote he makes thereafter will be a rubber stamp for Pelosi’s agenda.”
Strouse’s campaign declined to respond to the NRCC comment.
Republicans have spent millions the last few years portraying Democratic candidates as acolytes to the San Francisco-based Congresswoman. Pelosi, who is as beloved by progressives as she is despised by conservatives, is usually such a lightning rod that Democrats in swing districts like PA-8 try to distance themselves from her.
Strouse has been backed by the DCCC from the beginning. He seems determined to prove that an unabashedly true blue Democrat can win in the highly competitive 8th district.
Even when it comes to his email program, it’s clear that he has a great deal of input from national Democrats. The tone, substance and style of Strouse’s emails almost perfectly mimic the DCCC template.
But Strouse’s close links to DC Dems may be about pragmatism as much as ideology. – He faces a serious primary opponent in Shaughnessy Naughton who has her own DC backers. Naughton, a first-time candidate, is a businesswoman and scientist.
Keegan Gibson contributed to this report.