By Tom Waring
Wire Staff Writer
State Rep. Steve Santarsiero, a Democrat, filed his statement of candidacy last week in preparation for a run for Congress in 2016.
The 8th Congressional District seat will be vacated by Republican Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, who has promised to serve no more than four two-year terms.
A lawyer and former teacher at Bensalem High School, he was elected as a Lower Makefield Township supervisor in 2003 and later became chairman.
In 2008, he won an open seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that had been held by a Republican since it was created in 1992.
“I’m excited to start preparing a campaign to represent the people of Bucks and Montgomery counties in Congress,” Santarsiero said. “It’s time we make Washington accountable to our citizens. I will make it a priority to focus on keeping the middle-class families of the 8th District secure while helping to grow our economy, create jobs and bring real reform to Washington.”
Santarsiero and his wife, Ronni, have lived in Bucks County for 19 years. They have three children, Nancy (17), Billy (15) and Johnny (11).
Former U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz said, “Steve Santarsiero’s entry into the race is great news for the 8th District and for our Democratic Party. His broad support among Republicans, Democrats and independent voters will make him a formidable candidate.”
John Cordisco, chairman of the Bucks County Democratic Committee, echoed Schwartz’s optimism.
“Steve can win this seat. He just won re-election to the state House by a landslide in a swing district in what turned out to be a very bad year for Democrats,” Cordisco said. “He has a clear track record of winning in a tough district, and that’s what we will need to prevail in the 2016 congressional race.”
Another possible Democratic candidate is Shaughnessy Naughton, a scientist and small publishing company owner from Point Pleasant who narrowly lost the primary last year to Kevin Strouse.
A possible Republican candidate is outgoing Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley.