Upstart congressional candidate secures unofficial GOP backing for 8th District in Bucks

     Brian Fitzpatrick, a former supervisory special agent with the FBI and younger brother of incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick, is running for Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District seat. (Image courtesy of Montgomery County Democracy for America)

    Brian Fitzpatrick, a former supervisory special agent with the FBI and younger brother of incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick, is running for Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District seat. (Image courtesy of Montgomery County Democracy for America)

    Republican congressional candidate Brian Fitzpatrick doesn’t even have a website or an official Facebook page yet, but he’s making inroads into what promises to be a competitive race in Pennsylvania’s 8th District.

    This week, “screening” meetings of members of the Bucks County GOP in Lower and part of Central Bucks counties endorsed Fitzpatrick, who is the younger brother of incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick. Four more of these meetings are set in other parts of the county before the party decides whether to officially endorse a candidate on Feb. 11.

    While these meetings aren’t a binding endorsement, they do take the temperature of a party that seemed to line up behind state Rep. Scott Petri prior to Fitzpatrick’s announcement. None of the 25 public officials who have endorsed Petri have publicly withdrawn their support.

    Fitzpatrick officially announced he’d be seeking office a week ago. His brother Mike has been campaigning on his behalf. The elder Fitzpatrick is stepping down to keep a campaign promise that he would serve no more than four terms representing the district that spans Bucks County and includes small portions of Montgomery County and Northeast Philadelphia.

    The younger Fitzpatrick moved back to his home territory in Lower Bucks County late last year, after working as a supervisory special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in California. He has no prior political experience and is licensed as a public accountant and an attorney.

    Spokeswoman Linda Mannherz declined to make the candidate available for an interview, saying he is focused on meeting with would-be constituents right now.

    “He looks forward to continuing to spread his message of national security, a vibrant economy and the need to take back our country,” she said.

    With few campaign materials circulating, information on Fitzpatrick’s platform is fairly limited. In his announcement speech, the candidate said that his past experience in the FBI’s public corruption unit would come in handy serving in Washington.

    “Corruption is rampant in our nation’s capital and Harrisburg,” he said.

    Mannherz said Fitzpatrick does have a political committee. At the time of writing, no committee had registered with the Federal Election Commission.

    In addition to Petri and Fitzpatrick, former Bucks County Commissioner Andy Warren, former Bucks assistant district attorney Dean Malik, and neuropsychologist Marc Duome are running for the Republicans. Businesswoman Shaughnessy Naughton and state Rep. Steve Santarsiero are seeking the swing seat for the Democrats.

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