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NRCC | April 27, 2016

DATE: APRIL 27, 2016


Now that the dust has settled in the Southeast Pennsylvania congressional primaries, it is clear Democrats face an uphill challenge at winning in the state. It seems like just yesterday that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) had a target painted on Ryan Costello’s back and were gleefully talking about winning the open seat currently occupied by retiring Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick. But as of today, the DCCC has no viable candidate in PA-06 and an extremely bruised candidate in PA-08, severely hampering any chance of winning either of these must-win seats if they are to make good on their laughable claims of the House majority being in play.

PA-06: Rep. Ryan Costello, R vs. Mike Parrish, D

The DCCC targeted freshman Rep. Ryan Costello early on with their now-defunct “One Term Wonders” program, crowing that he was one of the 15 freshmen who “shouldn’t unpack their bags.” Realizing they may have been overly ambitious targeting freshmen like Costello, the DCCC quietly deleted their “One Term Wonders” website and have stopped targeting Costello – and with good reason – because the Democratic candidate to take him on is Mike Parrish.

Parrish is a Republican-turned-Democrat who first ran for Congress in 2014 before being pushed out of the race by the DCCC to avoid a Democratic primary. Despite Parrish launching his latest congressional campaign over 10 months ago and not having a primary opponent, he has an abysmal $15,911.07 cash on hand. That will make it difficult for Parrish to run a viable campaign and is likely why the DCCC has already abandoned their quest to defeat Costello.

Pennsylvania’s 6th District was not even mentioned as part of the DCCC’s “Red to Blue” program that was announced in February. This is a surefire sign that even the DCCC is aware that an uninspiring candidate like Parrish means they do not stand a chance in PA-06.

Geography: PVI: R+2; Romney 50.57%; Obama 48.12%; Costello outperformed the PVI by over 4 points in 2014. Cook Political Report rates the race as Likely R and Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report rates it Safe Republican. The district covers the Philadelphia suburbs, including parts of Chester, Montgomery, Berks and Lebanon counties.

PA-08: Brian Fitzpatrick, R vs. Steve Santarsiero, D

Republican Brian Fitzpatrick is a Levittown native with a resume that makes him a perfect fit for Pennsylvania’s 8th District. Fitzpatrick is a former FBI Special Agent who made a career fighting against political corruption and supporting global counterterrorism efforts. He also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, prosecuting violent drug and gun offenders to stem the tide of abuse and violence.

In the General Election, Fitzpatrick will face State Representative Steve Santarsiero, who defeated Shaughnessy Naughton after an expensive and bruising primary.The primary focused on Santarsiero’s abysmal seven-plus years in the State House, where he never had a bill signed into law.

This race will be a choice between a first-time candidate in Fitzpatrick, who has battled political corruption and a career politician like Santarsiero, who is part of a culture of corruption in Harrisburg. Unlike Santarsiero, Fitzpatrick will be able to hit the ground running after raising an impressive $452,000 after only two months as a candidate. Santarsiero, meanwhile, only had $301,000 cash on hand prior going into the expensive final four weeks of his primary campaign.

Geography: PVI: R+1; Romney 49.42%; Obama 49.35% Cook Political Report rates the race as Toss Up and Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report rates it Toss-up/Tilt Republican. Pennsylvania’s 8th District covers the Philadelphia suburbs, including all of Bucks County, and portions of Montgomery County.


The following are unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary election in PA-06 and PA-08.

*Indicates winner determined by AP

PA-06 – GOP Primary

Ryan Costello*                 Uncontested

PA-08 – GOP Primary

342 of 342 Precincts Reporting (100%)

Brian Fitzpatrick* 78%

Andrew Warren 13%

Marc Duome 9%

PA-08 – DEM Primary

342 of 342 Precincts Reporting (100%)

Steve Santarsiero* (60%)

Shaughnessy Naughton (40%)

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