U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick defeats anti-abortion activist in Republican primary

The last Republican House member representing Philadelphia’s suburbs will face off against Democrat Ashley Ehasz in the general election.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., speaks during a campaign event at the Load Rite Trailers manufacturing facility in Fairless Hills, Pa., Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

What questions do you have about the 2024 elections? What major issues do you want candidates to address? Let us know.

The last Republican member of Congress representing Philadelphia suburbs has survived another primary challenger.

On Tuesday night, U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick defeated Mark Houck, a far-right anti-abortion activist, in Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District primary race.

Fitzpatrick, a self-described moderate Republican, has represented Bucks County in Congress since 2017. He will face off against Democratic candidate Ashley Ehasz in November’s general election. Ehasz ran unopposed in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

The race for the district will double as a rematch for Fitzpatrick and Ehasz, who squared off against each other in the 2022 general election. While Fitzpatrick defeated Ehasz by nine percentage points then, the political landscape of the Philadelphia suburbs continues to shift blue.

Bucks County Democrats have taken control of local row offices, holding a majority of seats on the Board of Commissioners and seizing key school board races.

Democrats hold a slim registration edge in the county, so Fitzpatrick’s appeal as a moderate will be a key factor determining his political future. He’s campaigning on a message of “independent leadership” and bipartisanship.

Ehasz, an Army veteran, who was raised by a single mother believes Democrats are “on the offensive” in this race, especially as she tries to tie down Fitzpatrick on an abortion stance and Donald Trump.

She is campaigning on abortion access, protecting the environment, workers rights, voting rights, student debt and raising the minimum wage.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

<a name=”Section1″></a>

Get daily updates from WHYY News!

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal