The primary contest between Kevin Strouse and Shaughnessy Naughton is already drawing the attention of election watchers nationwide. The battle among the Democratic candidates to take on Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) has the potential to be one of the most contentious primaries in the country according to The Hill.
H/t Keystone Politics.
Kevin Strouse was the first candidate to announce for the race back in April and he was soon named one of the DCCC’s Jumpstart candidates. Given his background as an ex-Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as his work with the CIA Counterterrorism Center, Strouse seemed a good fight for the swing district that once made Patrick Murphy the first congressional Iraq War vet.
Shaughnessy Naughton, who has worked for Wyeth Industries and her family’s publishing company, announced her entry into the race in May. Naughton emphasized her roots in the district in an attempt to portray Strouse as an outsider. She also has an advantage in that she may be aided by powerful female interest groups like Emily’s List which can provide much needed money and support. Naughton attended a training session for candidates conducted by Emily’s List in Philadelphia last month.
Here’s what The Hill had to say about PA-8:
Pa.-08. Incumbent: Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R).
Fitzpatrick is a top target for Democrats, and they have their recruit in Army veteran and businessman Kevin Strouse. But he’ll face a credible challenge from Shaughnessy Naughton, a scientist and small business owner who jumped into the race in May.
Strouse has already been named to the DCCC’s “Jumpstart” program, which offers promising recruits fundraising and communications support by the Washington campaign apparatus. He posted a strong fundraising haul since announcing his candidacy in April, bringing in more than $250,000 — with the help of DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), who headlined a fundraiser for him.
But he only recently moved to Pennsylvania from D.C., opening him up to carpetbagging charges — and Naughton wasted no time in attacking him.
“He is the handpicked candidate of Washington, D.C. Washington is the problem. We’re not going to fix that by bringing more Washington to represent Bucks County,” she said when she announced her candidacy in May, according to the Intelligencer.
And there’s already indications that local Democrats are irked at the national party’s engagement in the race, a trend that, if it grows, could spark backlash against Strouse at the polls. A progressive Pennsylvania politics blog urged a “hands-off approach” in the primary.
A competitive primary could drain much-needed resources early in the race, when Democrats will need every cent available for the general, if the DCCC decides to intervene on Strouse’s behalf. Naughton’s first fundraising report will be an early indication of whether this primary is one Democrats will need to worry about.