During his 2018 bid for Congress, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) campaigned on being an independent Republican voice for the moderate district in the Philadelphia suburbs.
According to a new Roll Call article, he’s moved even more into the middle during this session.
Roll Call’s CQ party unity score, which refers to the percentage of time in which the representative sides with their own party votes, shows Fitzpatrick is tied for having the third biggest decline in party unity score this session from 2018 to May 16 of this year.
Fitzpatrick has experienced a 16.6 point decline in party unity score during this session, making him the only Pennsylvania Congressional representative in the top 10 in Roll Call’s CQ Unity Score shift for the year thus far.
The Bucks County Representative was just one of two Republicans nationwide to weather the blue wave in 2018 by winning boundaries that went to Sec. Hillary Clinton in 2016. 21 Congressional Republicans who were victorious in Clinton won districts in 2016 either lost their re-election bid or retired in 2018.
Scott Wallace, Fitzpatrick’s Democratic challenger in 2018, did not believe Fitzpatrick was the moderate he claimed to be since he voted with Trump over 80% of the time in the previous session. Fitzpatrick bested Wallace by just over 2.5 points in November.
Some of the signature votes that Fitzpatrick has bucked the majority of his party on thus far in the Democratic controlled House include HR 5, which addressed banning discrimination against LGBT people, and voting to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Fitzpatrick was a co-sponsor to both Democratic led bills.
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). He is the only GOP representative in the state that represents a district that went to Clinton in 2016.
Before taking on Wallace last year, Fitzpatrick faced Veteran and former Bucks County Assistant District Attorney Dean Malik, who ran a pro-Trump campaign in the GOP primary.
It is currently unclear if Fitzpatrick will have a primary challenger in 2020.