WASHINGTON – State Rep. Scott Petri, an Upper Makefield Republican, formally launched his campaign for Congress Monday with a web video and a promise to rein in federal regulations and bring "common sense" to Washington.
Petri is the second Republican to join what should be one of Pennsylvania's toughest House races next year – one of the only contests in which a party flip appears possible.
Petri and former Bucks County Commissioner Andy Warren are both seeking the GOP nomination to replace Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, a Republican who has declined to seek re-election. The open seat has drawn national attention to the moderate, Bucks-based eighth district, which has frequently swung between the parties.
Echoing themes Fitzpatrick has used in his time in Congress, Petri, a lawyer, pledged in his video to "be a voice for common sense and problem-solving."
And in a statement that appeared to be dubbed into the two-minute and fourteen second video, he pledged to "advocate for defeat of radical Islam across the globe." Petri also touted his credentials as a "conservative."
Warren was a Republican when he served on the county board, but ran for Congress as a Democrat in 2008, losing to eventual Congressman Patrick Murphy.
With Fitzpatrick retiring, Democrats hope to win a seat that they held until 2011. Shaughnessy Naughton and State Rep. Steve Santarsiero are seeking their party's nomination.
The district, which includes Bucks and a piece of Montgomery County, is closely divided politically, foreshadowing a tight race: Mitt Romney won it by mere decimal points over President Obama in 2012.