GOP 'welcomes' carpetbagging Dem to Pa.'s 8th District

Republicans plan to drop a Welcome Wagon-style gift basket at Tuesday’s fundraiser for Kevin Strouse, the handpicked Democratic challenger for U.S. House in Pennsylvania’s Eight District who recently moved from Washington to the district for the first time.

The barbed gift is courtesy of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

With a red bow on top, the wicker basket contains a road map of Bucks County, a Phillies hat, Eagles eye-black stickers, a Bucks County pen, a tin for storing Bucks County souvenirs, and a stack of brochures on county tourist attractions.

There’s a $1,000-a-person luncheon fundraiser for the transplant scheduled Tuesday at the Pyramid Club in Center City Philadelphia, hosted by lawyer Mark Aronchik, the prominent Democratic money man. Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is the featured guest.

“While Kevin Strouse may choose to have his first campaign event outside of his district in Philadelphia, he has a lot of catching up to do in order to learn about Bucks County and the rest of the 8th District,” said NRCC Spokesman Ian Prior. “It’s going to take more than support from Nancy Pelosi and the DCCC for Strouse to make a coherent argument as to what makes him uniquely qualified to represent a district he knows nothing about.”

Strouse, who grew up in Delaware County and served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has apparently never lived in Bucks County. He was working in Washington when the DCCC recruited him earlier this year; strategists said that Strouse, as a young veteran who has worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, fit the profile of candidates the committee believes will be successful in suburban congressional districts in the 2014 midterms.

They hope Strouse can topple incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R), a former county commissioner with a long history in the district.

A Bucks County native who is working in her family’s printing business, Shaugnessy Naughton, also is running for the Democratic nomination, attacking Strouse as a handpicked tool of Washington insiders.