Mike Fitzpatrick

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Mike Fitzpatrick
Mike Fitzpatrick, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 8th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Patrick Murphy
In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Jim Greenwood
Succeeded by Patrick Murphy
Member of the Bucks County
Board of Commissioners
In office
January 17, 1995[1] – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Mark Schweiker
Succeeded by Jim Cawley
Personal details
Born (1963-06-28) June 28, 1963 (age 50)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kathleen Fitzpatrick
Residence Levittown, Pennsylvania
Alma mater St. Thomas University, Dickinson School of Law
Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

Michael G. "Mike" Fitzpatrick (born June 28, 1963) is the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party. He was first elected to Congress in 2004, and represented the district for from 2005 to 2007, but lost to Patrick Murphy in 2006. He was reelected to Congress in 2010 and 2012.

Early life, education, and law career[edit]

Fitzpatrick was born and raised in Bucks County. He graduated from Bishop Egan High School, now Conwell-Egan Catholic High School, in Fairless Hills. He moved to Florida to attend St. Thomas University with an academic scholarship where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1985 from the school's honors program. He then earned his law degree from the Dickinson School of Law at Penn State University. He was named business manager of the Dickinson Journal of International Law.[citation needed]

After graduating law school in 1988, Fitzpatrick was admitted to the practice of law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Bucks County Commission (1995-2005)[edit]

In January 1995, Fitzpatrick was appointed to the Bucks County Board of Commissioners by an 11-member panel of county judges. The appointment was made to fill the unexpired term of Mark Schweiker, who had been elected lieutenant governor. Fitzpatrick, who was an attorney at a firm active in county affairs, was the candidate preferred by county Republican Party leaders.[2] The appointment was not without controversy, however, as some claimed the judges had acted solely on the recommendation of the county Republican Party.[3]

Early congressional career (2005-2007)[edit]

Elections[edit]

2004

In July 2004, popular moderate Republican Jim Greenwood unexpectedly withdrew from his re-election campaign. In the party convention held to select Greenwood's replacement on the ballot, the more conservative Fitzpatrick won the nomination over Greenwood's choice, state Senator Joe Conti, thanks to the backing of Bucks County Republican Party boss Harry Fawkes. Fitzpatrick went on to face liberal activist Virginia "Ginny" Schrader (something of a "sacrificial lamb candidate," chosen before Greenwood withdrew) in the general election.[4][5] Fitzpatrick won the general election against Schrader 55.3%-44.3%, with the remaining vote split between two minor candidates.[6] The Pennsylvania 8th District includes all of Bucks County, a sliver of Montgomery County, and parts of two wards in Northeast Philadelphia.[7]

2006

Fitzpatrick faced Democrat Patrick Murphy in the November general election of 2006.

In January 2006, Fitzpatrick said he had donated to charity the $21,500 he received from political action committees headed by U.S. Representatives Bob Ney (R-OH), Tom DeLay, (R-TX), and Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA).[8]

Fitzpatrick was endorsed by several environmental groups including the Sierra Club. He was the only incumbent Republican congressman in Pennsylvania who had the support of the environmentalist lobby during this election.

The Cook Political Report rated the race as "Leans Republican". However, Congressional Quarterly pegged the contest as a "Toss-up". A poll released at the end of October showed Fitzpatrick trailing Murphy by three percentage points.[9]

In the end, the election was decided by less than one percentage point, with Fitzpatrick initially trailing by just over 1,500 votes out of nearly 250,000 cast.

On November 8, with all precincts reporting, Murphy led by 1,521 votes. Philadelphia television station NBC 10 later reported that Fitzpatrick had conceded the election to Murphy.[10] He along with Mike Sodrel (R-IN) and Joe Schwarz (R-MI) were the only freshman Republicans to be defeated in 2006 (the latter albeit in a primary).

Tenure[edit]

In May 2006, Fitzpatrick introduced the Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006, which requires most schools and libraries to actively restrict minors from access to "Commercial Social Networking Websites" and "Chat Rooms."

In late July, the DOPA Act overwhelmingly passed the House. Speaking before the vote was taken, Fitzpatrick said, "The social networking sites have become, in a sense, a happy hunting ground for child predators".[11]

Committee assignments[edit]

Fitzpatrick served on the United States House Committee on Financial Services and the United States House Committee on Small Business.

Career between terms (2007-2011)[edit]

After the loss to Murphy, Fitzpatrick re-entered the practice of law, taking a position with Middletown Township law firm—and major Republican Party contributor[12]—Begley, Carlin, and Mandio.[13][14] In the fall of 2007, the Bucks County Commissioners asked Fitzpatrick, along with former Commissioner Andy Warren and former Common Pleas Judge William Hart Rufe to co-chair an effort to pass a ballot initiative authorizing the county to borrow $87 million for open space preservation.[15] The initiative, which was also endorsed by Congressman Murphy, passed by a large margin.

Later congressional career (2011-Present)[edit]

Elections[edit]

2008

Throughout 2007, there was much speculation that Fitzpatrick would seek to reclaim the seat in Congress that he lost to Murphy.[16] Fitzpatrick laid the rumors to rest in January, 2008 by announcing that he would not be running for Congress, but instead would challenge freshman state Representative Chris King in the 142nd District. Despite charges by some Democrats that he was "afraid to run against Murphy because he knows he would lose," Fitzpatrick claimed that he was interested in the job because of his "passion ... in solving local problems and serving the local community," as well as a desire to "change the way business is done in Harrisburg." [17]

However, family health problems forced Fitzpatrick to end his bid for state representative in early February. Fitzpatrick yielded his spot on the ballot to Republican activist Frank Farry (who went on to win the seat), and supported Doylestown pharmaceutical company executive Thomas Manion for the congressional seat he once held.

2010

On January 23, 2010, Fitzpatrick announced he would once again run for Congress in November.[18][19] He won the Republican nomination with 77% of the vote in the May primary.[20] A Franklin and Marshall poll taken in mid-September 2010 suggested the race was leaning towards Fitzpatrick at that time. On November 2, Fitzpatrick defeated Murphy and was elected the Congressman for the 8th district.[21]

On November 2, 2010, Fitzpatrick defeated Patrick Murphy to reclaim his old seat. He was sworn in on January 5, 2011 and has joined the Republican Main Street Partnership.

2012

Fitzpatrick defeated Kathryn Boockvar 57%-43%.[22]

2014

Two Democrats are running to take on Fitzpatrick; former Army Ranger Kevin Strouse and businesswoman Shaughnessy Naughton. Fitzpatrick has said that this will be his last re-election bid, due to self-imposed term limits.[23]

Tenure[edit]

On January 5, 2011, Fitzpatrick failed to attend the swearing-in ceremony for members and instead attempted to take the oath-of-office remotely at a reception.[24] However, House rules require that the oath be taken within proximity of the Speaker.[24] The oath was administered the following day, but two votes that he cast prior to taking the oath were nullified according to the Constitution.[25][26] Some Congressional ethics experts contend that the reception was in fact a fundraiser and have called for an investigation by the House Ethics Committee.[27][28] A spokesperson for Fitzpatrick denied the event was a fundraiser and asserted that donations made went to cover the cost of campaign-provided buses to Washington.[29]

Fitzpatrick supported reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.[30]

Committee assignments[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Fitzpatrick and his wife Kathleen, a former teacher, reside in Levittown, Pennsylvania, with their six children.

He is affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America and is a member of the Temple Lower Bucks Hospital Board of Directors, the Conwell-Egan Catholic Board of Advisors, the Knights of Columbus, the Levittown Bristol Kiwanis Club, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Brehon Law Society. He is also an eagle scout from the Bucks County Council and former president of that council, and was honored with the Silver Beaver Award for his services to scouting.[31][32]

Fitzpatrick was diagnosed with colon cancer in June 2008. He reported in November 2008 that the cancer went into remission after chemotherapy.[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Morning Call
  2. ^ The Philadelphia Inquirer
  3. ^ The Morning Call
  4. ^ Doylestown Patriot - Schrader responds to Greenwood's retirement
  5. ^ 2006 House, Crystal Ball, U.Va
  6. ^ "Election Results - CBSNews.com". CBS News. 
  7. ^ "Site Unavailable". Dos.state.pa.us. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  8. ^ http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/111-01222006-601349.html
  9. ^ http://electioncentral.tpmcafe.com/election_tags/pa_08
  10. ^ NBC10.com. Fitzpatrick Concedes Defeat. 2006-11-08.
  11. ^ "Social network sites face US ban". BBC News. July 31, 2006. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  12. ^ Above Average Jane Blog: Mike Fitzpatrick's Political Origins
  13. ^ Attorney Michael Fitzpatrick, Begley, Carlin & Mandio, Langhorne, Pennsylvania
  14. ^ Pay to play not a given in Bucks (phillyBurbs.com) | Intelligencer
  15. ^ Big push for open space support (phillyBurbs.com) | Outdoor
  16. ^ Mcall.com: Pennsylvania Ave. Blog
  17. ^ Fitzpatrick to run for state House (phillyBurbs.com) | Courier Times
  18. ^ Weckselblatt, Gary (2010-01-13). "Report: Fitzpatrick in D.C. rounding up support". PhillyBurbs.com. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  19. ^ [1][dead link]
  20. ^ Walsh, Brian (2010-07-08). "2010 Race of the Day: PA-08". Townhall.com. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 
  21. ^ "Franklin and Marshall College Poll". Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  22. ^ http://www.politico.com/2012-election/map/#/House/2012/PA
  23. ^ Tamari, Jonathan (24 October 2013). "3 area Republicans face tough reelection after shutdown". Philly.com. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "Bucks Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick faces ethics complaint over swearing-in snafu". Montgomery Media. January 15, 2011. 
  25. ^ "House nullifies votes by 2 representatives who skipped swearing-in". Cleveland.com. January 8, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Votes for GOP members who missed oath ruled invalid". Washingtonpost.com. January 6, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Did Rep Who Skipped Swearing In For Fundraiser Break The Law?". huffingtonpost.com. January 7, 2011. 
  28. ^ "More trouble for Fitzpatrick?". www.mcall.com. January 7, 2011. 
  29. ^ "More Accusations Leveled At Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.)". CBSPhilly.com. January 8, 2011. 
  30. ^ Jennifer Bendery (11 December 2012). "Violence Against Women Act: John Boehner, Eric Cantor Pressured By Republicans To Act". Huffington Post. 
  31. ^ Hasel, David E. (Spring 2002). "contests New Bucks County,Pennsylvania Boy Scouts to Launch the Essay Contest". Laws of Life. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  32. ^ "Mike Fitzpatrick for Congress2006". FitzpatrickforCongress.com. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  33. ^ John Mullane (2008-11-27). "A second chance". Bucks County Courier Times, archived at WebCite. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Patrick Murphy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district

2011–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Jim Greenwood
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district

2005–2007
Succeeded by
Patrick Murphy
Political offices
Preceded by
Mark Schweiker
Member of the Bucks County Board of Commissioners
1995–2005
Succeeded by
Jim Cawley
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Marlin Stutzman
R-Indiana
United States Representatives by seniority
272nd
Succeeded by
Carol Shea-Porter
D-New Hampshire