Kevin Strouse, a Democrat running for Congress in Bucks County, held a news conference at the Warminster VFW Tuesday morning promising to protect programs like Social Security and Medicare if elected.
Speaking to the crowd of about a dozen, he said he understands how important the programs are to seniors, though he later conceded he didn't know how many constituents in the district benefit from them.
But before Strouse could take the microphone, he and the crowd listened to an impassioned 15-minute political lecture from Jon "Bowzer" Bauman, a singer from the 1970's doo-wop band Sha Na Na.
Bauman, who also runs Senior Votes Count, a political organization that backs mostly Democratic candidates, kicked off his speech by displaying his signature pose: flexing and tilting his head to the sky like a fire-breathing dragon. He then spoke at length about his opposition to privatizing Social Security, forcing seniors to purchase private medical insurance, and partisan-fueled redistricting, while sprinkling in vignettes about his show business career.
With slicked-back hair and a booming voice, Bauman endorsed Strouse over Republican incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick, saying Strouse's priorities were in line with his organization's.
"You've got a great candidate," Bauman said, before singing Strouse's name to introduce him.
Strouse then told the audience that programs like Social Security and Medicare are "the kinds of things we need to fight for."
"These are both effective programs that keep our seniors out of poverty," he said. "It allows them to retire with dignity after they spent a lifetime paying into these programs."
In a brief interview after the event, Strouse said he was not sure how many residents in Pennsylvania's Eighth District received Social Security or were on Medicare. His staff later provided figures: more than 140,000 people in the district are social security recipients, and about 122,000 Bucks County residents receive coverage through Medicare.
Bauman, who also recently campaigned for Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf, closed the event by offering glossy photos and autographs to guests.