HomeBensalem TimesPA-8: Local conservatives weigh Fitzpatrick primary challenge

PA-8: Local conservatives weigh Fitzpatrick primary challenge

Mike Fitzpatrick

This post is part of The Upd8, the Midweek Wire’s new blog devoted entirely to coverage of Pennsylvania’s 8th congressional district.

Will Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) receive a primary challenger this May?

Maybe, but don’t count on it.

“The desire to ‘primary’ Mike exists…for having broken a gigantic campaign-promise [and having voted for a terrible bill, unnecessarily],” Abington committeeman Dr. Robert Sklaroff wrote in an email to an area coalition of Tea Party activists and organizers today, regarding Fitzpatrick’s votes during the government shut down. “This will only transpire, however, if a quality-candidate [and attendant resources] emerge.”

Sklaroff sent the email to the local coordinators of groups including FreedomWorks, Tea Party Patriots, Citizens for Constitutional Government, Heritage Action and Kitchen Table Patriots.

He said that the coalition will meet in the next few weeks to discuss whether or not it would back a primary challenger. In a phone interview Saturday, Sklaroff said that most of the aforementioned groups would likely be represented at the meeting.

“I was really disappointed in Mike’s vote,” Sklaroff said. While he lives outside of the 8th District, he said that he views his role as that of a “communicator” who can help to organize Tea Partiers in nearby localities.

He noted that the meeting would likely not result in a firm decision, but rather the local coalition would probably elect to “further explore the issue.”

However, Anastasia Przybylski, the Pennsylvania coordinator of FreedomWorks, said that she and most of the coalition are against attempting to back a primary challenger to face Fitzpatrick.

“The blame rests in the Senate RINOs’ laps,” Przybylski said in a phone interview on Monday. She praised Fitzpatrick for “voting with Boehner and House leadership,” and added that an attempt to run a primary challenger would be counterproductive to the coalition’s goals.

“We’re all just working right now to see what the strategy is to get the most conservative person elected,” Przybylski said.

The meeting was initially set for today, but was postponed due to a planned appearance of Newt and Callista Gingrich at the Doylestown Bookshop tonight at 6 p.m.

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