Republicans in Bucks County had a bang-up night on Tuesday, keeping control over the state’s only competitive US congressional seat.
Former FBI Brian Fitzpatrick will take over the Bucks and Montgomery County district seat his brother, retiring incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick, is giving up.
As returns rolled in, the mood at the Bucks County Republican Committee headquarters in Doylestown was victorious, but congressman-elect Brian Fitzpatrick did not take the moment to gloat.
“We’re really happy with the results, obviously. But now the healing process begins,” he said, explaining that he wants to promote civil discourse after a heated campaign season and fix bipartisan gridlock.
Fitzpatrick quit a 13-year career with the Federal Bureau of Investigations to pursue his brother’s congressional seat, after many in the local party had lined up behind State Representative Scott Petri.
Throughout the campaign, Fitzpatrick ran on his national security experience and that his family ties were “not relevant.”
Meanwhile, it was a bruising night for democrats in Pennsylvania.
That includes the 8th district loser, Democratic state representative Steve Santarsiero, whose supporters assembled at the Sheraton Bucks County Hotel in Langhorne.
Speaking to reporters, he said he’s going to take time to reflect before taking any next steps.
“You know it’s been a 22 month campaign. I think more than anything else right now I feel tired,” he said.
While conceding, he said he believes sweeping voting trends tipped the balance in favor of Republicans.
“I think we did everything that we possibly could do to put ourselves in a position to win and you know there are just some things that are beyond your control.” he said, reassuring his campaign staff. “It’s probably more to do with, you know, some of the trends nationally than really what happened in the course of the campaign.”
Fitzpatrick went home with over 54 percent of the vote in a race that internal polls showed within as little as two points two weeks before election day.
As in much of the country, Republicans did better than expected in Bucks county, according to county GOP chairwoman Pat Poprik.
“In the areas where we traditionally do not do well, we might have lost it, but it was close,” she said. “And the ones we [usually] won, they were huge!”
She said that allowed Republicans to call the race for Fitzpatrick while many other candidates in Pennsylvania’s close races were still biting their nails.