The cycle's first race for a competitive House contest began in earnest Thursday, when Democratic state Rep. Steve Santarsiero filed paperwork to run in southeastern Pennsylvania's 8th District. Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., has indicated he will not seek another term thanks to self-imposed term limits. On paper, the district is competitive: President Barack Obama narrowly lost it in 2012, while Fitzpatrick won re-election there by double-digit margins in the past two cycles. “It’s time we make Washington accountable to our citizens," Santarsiero, an attorney and former high school teacher, said in a statement. "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.”
Several Republicans named outgoing Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley as one of their top prospects for the race. But two Pennsylvania GOP operatives noted to CQ Roll Call he's considering other career options, including the private sector or a bid for state treasurer.