Democrat Kevin Strouse, a former Army Ranger, announced on Thursday that he will challenge GOP Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania’s 8th District.
The district, which almost evenly split its vote in the 2012 presidential contest, is one of the Democrats’ best pickup opportunities. Democrats need to net 17 seats in 2014 to win back the House, and they’ll likely need districts like this one in suburban Philadelphia to get there.
“When I was serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, it didn’t matter whether the Ranger next to me was a Democrat or a Republican, all that mattered was that we worked together and got the job done,” Strouse said in a statement. “I’ve dedicated my life to public service and solving tough challenges and I know Washington can do better at strengthening the middle-class, protecting our national security and creating good paying jobs.”
Strouse, who graduated from Columbia University and earned a master’s degree at Georgetown University, lives in Bensalem, Pa., with his wife and two children.
Fitzpatrick is serving his third term in Congress. He was first elected in 2004, was defeated in 2006 by Democrat Patrick J. Murphy, and then beat Murphy in 2010 to return to Capitol Hill. In 2012, Fitzpatrick defeated an underfunded candidate by 14 points.