In one of the tightest congressional races in the country, these dual six-figure ad buys are just the beginning of a home-stretch spending spree.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican super PAC, has pledged to spend $2.1 million on ads targeting Democratic candidate and state Rep. Steve Santarsiero before Nov. 8. Congressional committees for both parties are expected to make their own sizable ad buys in coming weeks.
But for now, the ads targeting voters in Bucks and a sliver of Montgomery County are just a prelude, with spots introducing each candidate.
Fitzpatrick made a career working for the Federal Bureau of Investigations and Department of Justice before deciding to run for the 8th District seat now held by his brother, Mike Fitzpatrick.
In his ad, Fitzpatrick stands in front of his parents’ home in Levittown, Pennsylvania, and relates his time in law enforcement to homegrown values.
“Our parents were always teaching us about the importance of family and looking out for the neighborhood,” he said. “It’s a lesson I carried with me as a federal prosecutor, going after drug dealers who were selling poison to our kids. And, it’s a lesson I carried as an FBI agent, sent to Iraq to fight terrorists.”
A search through public court documents shows Fitzpatrick did prosecute dealers for selling everything from crack to khat, a stimulant grown in the Horn of Africa.
His spokesman, Aaron Clark, also clarified that Fitzpatrick spent a few months working in Iraq in 2007 and 2008, interrogating al-Qaeda members as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The content of the ad was not greeted kindly by Democrats, who point out Fitzpatrick lived outside of the 8th District until shortly before announcing his run in January.
“He was recruited by Republican Party bosses to move back to this district to run under his brother’s name, and that’s what his candidacy is all about,” said Eric Goldman, spokesman for Steve Santarsiero.
So far, the candidates have only met on the debate stage once to hash out their differences — namely two nuanced takes on the Affordable Care Act. The next debate is scheduled for Oct. 13.