Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District elections, 2014

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2012

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Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
May 20, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Michael G. Fitzpatrick Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Michael G. Fitzpatrick Republican Party
Mike Fitzpatrick.jpg

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Likely Republican[1]

Sabato's Crystal Ball: Likely R[2]


Pennsylvania U.S. House Elections
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2014 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Pennsylvania.png
SimmeringRace.jpg
The 8th Congressional District of Pennsylvania held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Michael G. Fitzpatrick, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary, defeated Democratic challenger Kevin Strouse in the general election. Strouse defeated Shaughnessy Naughton in a close Democratic primary.

Ballotpedia identified Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District as a "simmering race" because of Fitzpatrick's vulnerability. Fitzpatrick was targeted by House Majority PAC as a vulnerable incumbent.[3] In addition, the Democratic Congressional Committee included Strouse in their Jumpstart, program, which “provides early financial, communications, operational and strategic support to help top-tier candidates get a head start in these highly-targeted races,” according to a DCCC memo.[4] Because Fitzpatrick was targeted by Democrats, he was added to the National Republican Congressional Committee's Patriot Program, which helped raise money to protect GOP incumbents.[5][6] The race was rated a "Safe Republican" contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.[7]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
March 11, 2014
May 20, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: Pennsylvania is one of 12 states to use a strictly closed primary process, in which the selection of a party's candidates in an election is limited to registered party members.[8][9][10]

Voter registration: To vote in the primary, voters had to register by April 20, 2014. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 6, 2014 (at least 30 days prior to election).[11]

See also: Pennsylvania elections, 2014

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Michael G. Fitzpatrick (R), who was first elected in 2004 and served for a single term from 2005-2007. He was elected by voters from Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District again in 2010.

Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District is located in eastern Pennsylvania and borders the state of New Jersey. It includes portions of Bucks and Montgomery counties.[12]

Candidates

General election candidates


May 20, 2014, primary results

Republican Party Republican Primary

Democratic Party Democratic Primary


Election results

General election

U.S. House, Pennsylvania District 8 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMichael G. Fitzpatrick Incumbent 61.9% 137,731
     Democratic Kevin Strouse 38.1% 84,767
Total Votes 222,498
Source: Pennsylvania Department of State

Democratic primary

U.S. House, Pennsylvania District 8 Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngKevin Strouse 51.1% 18,428
Shaughnessy Naughton 48.9% 17,610
Total Votes 36,038
Source: Results via Associated Press

Race background

Democratic Super PAC House Majority PAC listed incumbent Michael G. Fitzpatrick as one of 10 vulnerable, Republican incumbents in 2014.[3] In May 2013, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched Jumpstart, a program that “provides early financial, communications, operational and strategic support to help top-tier candidates get a head start in these highly-targeted races,” according to the DCCC memo. Kevin Strouse was one of the eight Democratic candidates on the list. He was chosen based on polling figures, which indicated Fitzpatrick's vulnerability to losing re-election in 2014.[16] Due to this vulnerability, Fitzpatrick, along with 11 other House Republicans, qualified for financial assistance under the Patriot Program.[17] The program was run by the National Republican Congressional Committee and helped raise money to protect GOP incumbents who were deemed in danger of being unseated.[18]

Issues

Campaign themes

Kevin Strouse

Strouse's campaign website listed the following issues:[19]

  • Growing Our Economy through Innovation
Excerpt: "I believe the best way to create new jobs is by growing our economy, getting deficit spending under control, and providing tax incentives to encourage small business growth. Small businesses help drive job creation, and we must create a climate that makes it easier for entrepreneurs to start and grow new companies."
  • Creating Jobs By Investing in American Workers
Excerpt: "My top priority is helping to boost the American economy and put the country back on the path to prosperity, and that starts by reinvesting in the American worker. We’ve got the best workers in the world right here in Southeastern Pennsylvania. To get more of them back to work we must promote insourcing into America to create good-paying, fulfilling jobs."
  • Improving Education to Compete in a Global Economy
Excerpt: "As parents to two young children, my wife Amy and I have a personal interest in making American schools the best in the world. Providing every child access to early, quality education would go a long way to helping us compete in the 21st century global economy and reduce inequality."
  • Balancing the Budget the Right Way by Protecting Social Security and Medicare
Excerpt: "One of things I learned in the Army and the CIA is that bickering and finger pointing don’t get the job done, but that’s exactly what we’re seeing Congress do on the budget. I believe for the sake our economy and national security that America needs a plan to ensure a balanced budget over the long term, but we’ve got to do it in a way that promotes economic growth and creates middle-class jobs."
  • National Defense and Homeland Security
Excerpt: "I completed multiple combat tours to the Middle East and South Asia as an Army Ranger and worked in CIA’s Counterterrorism Center for six years, and I’ve seen the dangers of terrorism, radical extremism, and failed states first hand. Our number one national security priority must be to defeat terrorism at home and abroad."

Key votes

Below are important votes that Fitzpatrick cast during the 113th Congress.

National security

DHS Appropriations

Yea3.png Fitzpatrick voted in favor of HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[20]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Nay3.png Fitzpatrick voted against House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[20]

CISPA (2013)

Yea3.png Fitzpatrick voted in favor of HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill permitted federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[21] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[20]

NDAA

Yea3.png Fitzpatrick voted in favor of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[20]

Economy

Farm bill

Yea3.png On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[22] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[23][24] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[24] Fitzpatrick voted with 161 other Republican representatives in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[25][26] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[26] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[27] It included a 1% increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and protected the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Fitzpatrick voted with the majority of the Republican party in favor of the bill.[25]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Yea3.png On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[28] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[29] Fitzpatrick voted to approve the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[30]

Yea3.png The shutdown ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[31] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Fitzpatrick voted for HR 2775.[32]

Fitzpatrick declined to accept his salary while the government was shutdown.[33]

Immigration

Morton Memos Prohibition

Yea3.png Fitzpatrick voted in favor of House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States. The vote largely followed party lines.[20]

Healthcare

Healthcare Reform Rules

Yea3.png Fitzpatrick voted in favor of House Amendment 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment was adopted by the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 227-185. The amendment requires all changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be approved by Congress before taking effect. The vote was largely along party lines.[20]

Keep the IRS Off Your Healthcare Act

Yea3.png Fitzpatrick voted in favor of HR 2009 - Keep the IRS Off Your Healthcare Act of 2013. The bill passed through the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 232-185. The bill would prevent the IRS and Treasury Secretary from enforcing the powers provided to them in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The vote largely followed party lines.[20]

Government affairs

HR 676

See also: Boehner's lawsuit against the Obama administration

Yea3.png On July 30, 2014, the U.S. House approved a resolution 225 to 201 to sue President Barack Obama for exceeding his constitutional authority. Five Republicans--Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Paul Broun of Georgia, Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Walter Jones of North Carolina and Steve Stockman of Texas-- voted with Democrats against the lawsuit.[34] Fitzpatrick joined the other 224 Republicans in favor of the lawsuit. All Democrats voted against the resolution.[35][36]

Endorsements

Kevin Strouse

Strouse was endorsed by the following individuals and organizations:

Shaughnessy Naughton

Naughton was endorsed by the following individuals and organizations:

  • Women’s Campaign Fund[37]
  • Women Under Forty PAC
  • Ironworkers Local Union 401, an AFL-CIO affiliate[41]
  • EMILY'S List[42]

Media

Kevin Strouse


"Kevin Strouse for Congress - SERIOUSLY."

Campaign contributions

Michael G. Fitzpatrick

Candidates for Congress were required to file reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Michael G. Fitzpatrick's reports.[43]

Michael G. Fitzpatrick (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[44]April 15, 2013$114,083.20$302,152.18$(140,756.93)$275,478.45
July Quarterly[45]July 15, 2013$275,478.45$501,894.94$(96,707.67)$680,665.72
October Quarterly[46]October 13, 2013$680,665.72$462,175.10$(96,145.02)$1,046,695.80
Year-End[47]January 31, 2014$1,046,695$348,853$(119,087)$1,276,462
April Quarterly[48]April 15, 2014$1,276,462.30$337,339.60$(140,168)$1,473,633.90
Running totals
$1,952,414.82$(592,864.62)

Kevin Strouse

Kevin Strouse (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
July Quarterly[49]July 15, 2013$0$253,766$(35,504)$218,261
October Quarterly[50]October 15, 2013$218,261.79$151,287.38$(43,944.74)$325,604.43
Year-End[51]January 29, 2014$325,604$200,346$(54,249)$471,700
April Quarterly[52]April 15, 2014$471,700.95$165,193.07$(73,319.69)$563,574.33
Running totals
$770,592.45$(207,017.43)

Shaughnessy Naughton

Shaughnessy Naughton (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
July Quarterly[53]July 15, 2013$0$89,016$(80)$88,935
October Quarterly[54]October 15, 2013$88,935$99,804$(27,743)$160,995
Year-End[55]January 31, 2014$160,995$105,836$(89,657)$177,173
April Quarterly[56]April 15, 2014$177,173.67$124,952.66$(94,159.72)$207,966.61
Running totals
$419,608.66$(211,639.72)

District history

Candidate ballot accecss
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2012

The 8th Congressional District of Pennsylvania held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Incumbent Michael G. Fitzpatrick (R) won re-election in the district.[57]

U.S. House, Pennsylvania District 8 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Kathryn Boockvar 43.4% 152,859
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMichael G. Fitzpatrick Incumbent 56.6% 199,379
Total Votes 352,238
Source: Pennsylvania Department of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

2010

On November 2, 2010, Michael G. Fitzpatrick won election to the United States House. He defeated Patrick J. Murphy (D) in the general election.[58]

U.S. House, Pennsylvania District 8 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMichael G. Fitzpatrick 53.5% 130,759
     Democratic Patrick J. Murphy incumbent 46.5% 113,547
Total Votes 244,306

See also

External links

References

  1. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS FOR AUGUST 8, 2014," accessed August 21, 2014
  2. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Races," accessed August 21, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sunshine State News, "Democratic Super-PAC Targets Steve Southerland," accessed March 8, 2013
  4. Roll Call, "Democrats Launch New Program for House Recruits," May 3, 2013
  5. The Washington Post, "11 House Republicans named to incumbent-protection program," April 22, 2013
  6. NRCC Patriot Program, "About," accessed April 23, 2013
  7. Roll Call, "2014 Election Race Ratings," accessed September 17, 2014
  8. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  9. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  10. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013, through January 3, 2014, researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  11. Votes PA, "How to Register," accessed January 3, 2014
  12. Pennsylvania Redistricting Map "Map" accessed July 30, 2012
  13. 13.0 13.1 Associated Press, "Pennsylvania - Summary Vote Results," May 20, 2014
  14. PhillyBurbs.com, "Bensalem Army Ranger to begin 8th District campaign," April 4, 2013
  15. Official Campaign Website, "About," accessed June 6, 2013
  16. Roll Call, "Democrats Launch New Program for House Recruits," May 3, 2013
  17. The Washington Post, "11 House Republicans named to incumbent-protection program," April 22, 2013
  18. NRCC Patriot Program, "About," accessed April 23, 2013
  19. Campaign website, "Issues," accessed March 17, 2014
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 Project Vote Smart, "Michael Fitzpatrick Key Votes," accessed October 15, 2013
  21. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  22. Clerk of U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 31: H.R. 2642," accessed February 12, 2014
  23. Politico, "House clears farm bill," accessed February 12, 2014
  24. 24.0 24.1 New York Times, "Senate passes long-stalled farm bill, with clear winners and losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  25. 25.0 25.1 CNN.com, "House passes compromise $1.1 trillion budget for 2014," accessed January 20, 2014
  26. 26.0 26.1 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 21," accessed January 20, 2014
  27. Roll Call, "House passes $1.1 trillion omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  28. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  29. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  30. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  31. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  32. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  33. Politico, "Hill pols plan to donate, halt salary," accessed October 1, 2013
  34. U.S. House, "House Resolution 676," accessed July 30, 2014
  35. Yahoo News, "Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead," accessed July 30, 2014
  36. Washington Post, "House clears way for lawsuit against Obama," accessed July 30, 2014
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 Politics PA, "Naughton Gains Backing From Women’s Groups," accessed October 30, 2013
  38. Politics PA, "Pelosi To Hold Fundraiser For Parrish and Strouse," January 29, 2014
  39. Mid Week Wire, "PA-8: Marseglia endorses Strouse," accessed November 25, 2013
  40. 40.0 40.1 Politics PA, "PA-8: Strouse Picks Up PeacePAC Endorsement," accessed November 12, 2013
  41. Politics PA, "PA-8: Naughton Endorsed by Ironworkers," accessed October 30, 2013
  42. Emily's List, "EMILY’s List Puts Four New Women Leaders “On the List”," accessed November 20, 2013
  43. Federal Election Commission, "Michael G. Fitzpatrick 2014 Summary reports," accessed October 28, 2013
  44. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed July 22, 2013
  45. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed July 22, 2013
  46. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 28, 2013
  47. Federal Election Commission, "Fitzpatrick Year-End," accessed February 5, 2014
  48. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  49. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed November 11, 2013
  50. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed November 11, 2013
  51. Federal Election Commission, "Year-End Report," accessed February 12, 2014
  52. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 23, 2014
  53. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed November 11, 2013
  54. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed November 11, 2013
  55. Federal Election Commission, "Year-End," accessed February 12, 2014
  56. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 23, 2014
  57. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Pennsylvania"
  58. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013