|Fitzpatrick wins Republican nod in race
for 8th District U.S. House seat
The Intelligencer Opinion
| May 9, 2010
"The battle begins tonight," said Michael Fitzpatrick, after winning the U.S. House Republican nomination for the 8th Congressional District in Pennsylvania Tuesday night.
His Primary victory sets up a rematch of the 2006 election when Patrick Murphy defeated Fitzpatrick for Congress by a razor-thin margin.
"Remember the date -- November 2 because that’s the date we defeat Patrick Murphy, fire Nancy Pelosi, and begin to take Washington back," said Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick, who served one term in Congress, handily defeated his primary opponents, tallying 31,862 votes, or 76.5 percent of the vote.
According to unofficial results, GOP committeewoman Gloria Carlineo of Upper Solebury came in a distant second with 6,210 votes, followed by Solebury businessman Ira Hoffman with 2,377 votes and decorated disabled U.S. Navy veteran James Jones with 1,200 votes.
A group of supporters cheered Fitzpatrick at the Doylestown Republican Headquarters after hearing the results.
Fitzpatrick called the election a "very spirited contest for the 8th Congressional District." He accepted the nomination to cheers from the gathering.
During his 2010 Primary campaign, Fitzpatrick focused on the issues of reducing government regulation in the job market, lowering taxes, controlling the country’s debt and spending, opposing government involvement in health care, and supporting a "balanced national energy policy."
In late April, during a forum in Washington Crossing hosted by Republicans for Action, Fitzpatrick said that during his two years in the House, budgets approved by the Congress cut the deficit. Under Patrick Murphy's watch, Fitzpatrick said unemployment has jumped from 4.7 to 9.7 percent and the national debt has nearly doubled.
"An awful lot of jobs were lost, not withstanding the stimulus legislation that promised to create millions of jobs that never occurred," said Fitzpatrick.
"The national debt was eight trillion dollars when Patrick Murphy took office. I'd like to say it was $8 trillion dollars too much. Three years later, with Patrick Murphy in office and the Democrats in office, the projection is for a national debt of $14 trillion at the end of this year. And the worst part is, with the Democrats in charge of the House, the Senate and the White House, they have no plan to pay off that debt.
"And for what? Cash for Clunkers? For stimulus bills that haven't worked? For Wall Street bail-outs and bonuses for top executives?"
Fitzpatrick said the country "can't afford" the Democrats. "We're stealing from future generations," he said. "It's our moral imperative to pay off the debt not just for ourselves and our economy but also for our children and our grandchildren," he said.
Committeeman Richard Tems of Doylestown Borough called the election a good night for Republicans. "This is great. It starts the fall campaign," Tems said. "We realize how bad for America and the world the Obama Administration is. We have to defeat it at every level and this is a good start."
Doylestown Republican Committee Vice Chairwoman Patricia K. Poprik celebrated Fitzpatrick’s nomination with the crowd on May 18. "We did it. And that word ‘we’ is the right word," she said. "This was a team of Hercules proportion. Everybody did everything."
Even before the votes were counted on Tuesday, Murphy had fired off a letter challenging Fitzpatrick to a series of eight public debates during the fall election season.
Murphy ran unopposed on the Democratic ticket Tuesday night, collecting 37,339 votes.
Murphy asked Fitzpatrick in a letter "to clarify which candidate he should expect to show up at the debates: Former Congressman Mike ‘Top 25 Most Liberal Republicans’ Fitzpatrick or the new Mike ‘Tea-Party’ Fitzpatrick.’"
Murphy also asked Fitzpatrick in the letter to explain "where he actually stands on global warming, on policies that lead to the outsourcing of American jobs, and on the assault weapons ban. It’s difficult for the Congressman to know which candidate he’ll be debating since Mike’s record doesn’t remotely resemble his rhetoric today.
"Even Fitzpatrick’s fellow Republicans have called him out for his glaring inconsistencies," said Murphy. "Republican Congressional hopeful Gloria Carlineo expressed her own amazement at Mike’s attempts to ‘pander to the voters of the 8th District by conveniently forgetting that he is on the opposite side of an issue from when he was in Congress.’"
Murphy closed his letter by saying, "I hope that Former Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is able to provide clarification on these FitzFlops. If that’s not possible, I will be sure to bring an extra chair so that he can debate both Mikes. "