Bucks County >> Democrats on Tuesday chose lawyer Scott Wallace from a field of three candidates to challenge incumbent Republican Brian Fitzpatrick in November in Pennsylvania’s new First Congressional District.
Wallace, the endorsed Democrat in the race, won 56.5 percent of the vote with 27,652. Democrat and Navy veteran and attorney Rachel Reddick tallied 35.3 percent with 17,288 votes and environmentalist Steve Bacher, former vice chair of the Newtown Democratic Club, had 8.2 percent with 4,006 votes.
On the Republican side, endorsed incumbent Brian Fitzpatrick easily won his primary challenge against Iraq War veteran and former prosecutor Dean Malik with 67 percent of the vote. Fitzpatrick tallied 31,374 votes with Malik collecting 15,451, or 33 percent of the vote.
Fitzpatrick, a member of the Problem Solvers caucus, was first elected to represent the 8th Congressional District (now the 1st Congressional District) in 2017 after his brother, Michael, stepped down after serving four terms. Prior to that, Brian served as an FBI supervisory special agent. He was also a special assistant United States attorney.
Fitzpatrick earned his J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law and his bachelor’s from Penn State University. He graduated from Bishop Egan High School.
Wallace, in a statement issued Tuesday night in response to the vote said, “We need a government that’s accountable to the people. We need change in Washington. Tonight, we’ve begun to bring that change and usher in a new era where we get big corporate PAC money out of politics. Where Washington finally starts to look out for the people’s interest, not the special interests.”
Wallace continued, “And where politicians do a little less tweeting, and blaming – and start listening, and enacting real change, for real people. Brian Fitzpatrick is part of the political class that’s made a mess in Washington. It’s time for change here in Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District.”
Wallace also acknowledged Rachel Reddick, Steve Bacher and their supporters for running a spirited race.
“I know that we can count on them to help us take back this seat. It’s going to be a tough campaign, but I know we can do this. The fight for what’s right begins tonight. Together, we can make America sane again,” Wallace said.
Wallace was born and raised in Bucks County. His father ran a chicken hatchery on Swamp Road, his mother was President of the local chapter of Planned Parenthood. Out of high school, he worked as a carpenter’s assistant, pumped gas at a filling station and flipped burgers at Burger Chef before graduating from Swarthmore College and eventually Villanova Law.
After clerking for a federal judge from Bucks County, Wallace went to work as a general counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. At a time when Republicans and Democrats worked together for the common good of the country, he worked directly with Republican Senators Alan Simpson and Arlen Specter who led the investigation into the use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War and authored legislation to give better compensation to disabled veterans and provide veterans with job training.
Wallace later went to work as general counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he helped write the Missing Children’s Assistance Act of 1984 and legislation helping runaway youth. For the last two decades, Wallace and his wife Christy have run the Wallace Global Initiative, a foundation helping empower women, fight climate change, and create the clean energy jobs of the future.
In a statement issued Tuesday night, Haley Bova, a spokesperson for Team Fitzpatrick, said, “We want to thank our community for putting their faith in our team and the Problem Solvers so that we can continue to put our community first by providing thoughtful, reasonable, moderate and bipartisan hometown representation that rejects the partisan extremes,” said. “We must be one community, now more than ever. We look forward to a thorough discussion of the issues that will make clear to our community exactly what is at stake in this election.”
Bova continued, “We completely agree with Rachel Reddick, ‘Scott Wallace is not one of us.’ And we completely agree with the Non-Partisan Cook Political Report’s assessment of this race: Scott Wallace is a ‘badly flawed candidate.’ And their reasons are clear: Scott Wallace has shown himself to be dishonest, disconnected and dangerous.
“Our community will send a clear message in November that Bucks and Montgomery Counties are not for sale,” said Bova. “We believe in elections, not auctions going to the highest bidder. Announcing his return to Bucks County after four decades in order to purchase a public office, Scott Wallace has identified Maryland as his first home, and has identified South Africa as his second home. Bucks County has appeared nowhere on his list until he sought to purchase a public office in our community. His mega-wealth and his extreme far-left partisan ideology, coupled with his difficulty telling the truth, make him completely out-of-touch with our community. He is truly ‘not one of us.’”
Bova added that Team Fitzpatrick is “extremely disappointed to see Scott Wallace spend millions of dollars tearing down and attacking the character of Rachel Reddick, an honorable woman and mother who served our nation to keep Scott Wallace and his family safe. He then continued and referred to Congressman Fitzpatrick as ‘Un-American’ after Brian has spent the majority of his adult life serving in dangerous roles both domestically and internationally in order to protect Scott Wallace and his family.
“Scott Wallace spends his millions to attack those who have served our nation and protected his family. That is who Scott Wallace is,” said Bova. “We’ve found both his approach and his language to be extremely negative and extremely divisive. For the sake of our community, we hope he changes his tone and starts respecting those who have served his family and our nation.”