Shaughnessy Naughton, a former scientist and publisher, has thrown her hat in the ring and announced her intention to run for the Democratic nomination to challenge Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick in PA’s 8th congressional district.
Naughton’s official campaign website identifies her as a Point Pleasant native who was born and raised in Bucks County. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. in Chemistry in 1999, but after working for Wyeth Laboratories she decided to join her family’s publishing company in 2003.
According to her campaign bio “she now owns and manages all of the publishing company’s operations including magazine publishing, graphic design, and website development,” something that’s evident from her glossy site and professional profile photos.
“Shaughnessy’s perspective as a small business owner and a scientist will bring a totally unique and much-needed fresh approach to Washington D.C.” it says.
Naughton filed her statement of candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission on May 1, according to Chris Brennan of PhillyClout who first reported her candidacy.
This announcement comes just a week after another Democratic candidate running against Fitzpatrick, Kevin Strouse, was named one of the DCCC’s “Jumpstart” candidates. This designation signals that the Democratic organization believes Strouse, a Iraq War vet and former CIA officer, is a top recruit and will receive its early support.
Perhaps the biggest question raised then by Naughton’s announcement is whether the DCCC will continue to aide Strouse or back away and let a primary play out first.
Strouse’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Like Strouse, who moved to the district this spring shortly before he announced his bid, she may have a residency issue. A peek at Labels & Lists shows the only “Shaughnessy Naughton” registered to vote in Pa. is 35 and lives in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia. The law allows candidates to run for Congress even in districts where they don’t reside.
Her entry complicates the picture for other interest groups, like EMILY’s List, which also have prioritized Fitzpatrick’s defeat.
The Bucks County Republican has been a top target for Democrats nationally every year he’s been in office and 2014 will be no different. But despite a much ballyhooed race in 2012, he cruised to re-election by double digits.
To wit: so far this cycle the Democrats looking to challenge him are two political neophytes. More deeply rooted prospective candidates including elected officials have thus far taken a pass on a 2014 run, seeming to opt instead for 2016 when Fitzpatrick has said he will not seek re-election.
Keegan Gibson contributed to this report.