Before Fitzpatrick has to worry about a Democrat in the general election, he’s getting some heat from the right wing and might have a primary fight on his hands. Jennifer Stefano, a staffer for Americans for Prosperity, the Koch Brothers-affiliated advocacy group, is considering challenging Fitzpatrick for the Republican nomination.
The chatter about a possible Stefano run picked up last month after Fitzpatrick voted against a GOP bill that would have restricted the authority of the National Labor Relations Board. His vote might have been more in tune with the moderate politics of the district, but conservatives did not take kindly to it.
The conservative blog “Bucks Right” reacted to the speculation about Stefano with the following post: “Everyone knows Mike Fitzpatrick’s pattern. Post-election, Mike Fitzpatrick is RINO Mike. But pre-election, especially during primary season, Mike Fitzpatrick turns into Tea Party Mike. So, in my book, a viable challenger from the right that keeps Fitzpatrick in ‘Tea Party Mike’ campaign mode for as much of his two-year term as possible is a good thing.”
“The district is neither far left nor far right. ... Congressman Fitzpatrick is a fiercely independent advocate for his constituents, a proven fund-raiser and a popular former county commissioner,” a spokesman for Fitzpatrick said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.