Fitzpatrick, Strouse meet for first of three debates in 8th District

    Incumbent Michael Fitzpatrick (R) and opponent Kevin Strouse (D) debate on air at the WNPV-AM in Lansdale. (Bas Slabbers/for NewsWorks)

    Incumbent Michael Fitzpatrick (R) and opponent Kevin Strouse (D) debate on air at the WNPV-AM in Lansdale. (Bas Slabbers/for NewsWorks)

    In less than three weeks, voters in Bucks and Montgomery counties will choose between Republican Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick and Democrat Kevin Strouse.

    On Wednesday, the two took seats inside WNPV-AM’s studio in Lansdale for the first of three debates scheduled before the general election on Nov. 4.

    The wide-ranging, 45-minute discussion with Comment Please host Darryl Berger hit hot topics including Ebola and the VA scandal, but also touched on traditional issues such as congressional gridlock.

    Strouse, a former Army Ranger and CIA employee, has made the latter a cornerstore of his first bid for public office.

    “It wasn’t always pretty, there was fighting, but the difference between us and our Congress is that we always got the job done. We hit our deadlines,” said Strouse.

    Fitzpatrick bristled at that characterization and said the U.S. House of Representatives has done its job.

    “We have passed about 340 bills, many pieces of those legislation were bipartisan, some of them were even unanimous … they then go to the Senate under constitutional rules. There in the Senate, they die,” said Fitzpatrick.

    Polls and experts say voters in Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District will return Fitzpatrick to Congress.

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