Two qualified candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Bucks County Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania's most competitive congressional district. To their credit, both have waged civilized campaigns focused on their resumés and the issues.

Kevin Strouse's background as an Army Ranger and CIA analyst suggests relevant experience in national security matters. But scientist and businesswoman SHAUGHNESSY NAUGHTON's grasp of a broad range of issues would make her a better match for Fitzpatrick in the fall. So would the Plumstead Township native's roots in the district compared with Strouse, who moved to Bensalem last year.

A chemist, Naughton runs counter to Congress' dangerous and sometimes deliberate ignorance of science. She has argued for disclosure of the chemicals used in natural-gas extraction to ensure that drinking water is protected. She would also push to close the nation's innovation deficit by supporting federal research and development funding.

Naughton supports the Affordable Care Act but correctly notes that more must be done to contain health-care costs. For example, she says, Medicare should be allowed to negotiate for lower pharmaceutical prices.

The candidate left her job as a chemist at Wyeth a decade ago to run her family's printing company, which has given her insight into the struggles of small businesses. She knows they require predictable and reasonable government policies.

She also advocates using tax policy to reward companies for creating jobs here rather than overseas. And she supports shifting some of the tax burden from income to capital gains to ensure that the wealthy are shouldering their share.

Naughton is cut from the middle-class cloth of the Eighth District, and she has the experience and ideas to represent it well in Washington.