In the 8th, Boockvar battling Fitzpatrick war chest

Posted: October 17, 2012

REPUBLICAN U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick's campaign juggernaut showed its muscle in recent months, doubling up a well-financed opponent in spending from July through September, according to filings released Monday by the Federal Election Commission.

Democratic challenger Kathy Boockvar, who collected an impressive $520,000 during the three-month span, actually outpaced the congressman in contributions from individuals and spent about $741,000.

Fitzpatrick, however, had built up a war chest of donations from party affiliates, special-interest groups and industry PACs, and spent almost $1.5 million during that period, which is key for nuts-and-bolts campaigning.

The heavy spending could position Fitzpatrick well in his bid to hold onto the 8th District, which covers Bucks County and part of Montgomery County and is the area's most competitive House seat.

The biggest outlay for Fitzpatrick - who was elected to Congress in 2004, defeated in 2006 and re-elected in 2010 - was a $1 million purchase in mid-August for network-TV advertising.

"That buy will certainly give him the ability to get his message out to voters in the 8th District and show a clear contrast" with Boockvar, said Fitzpatrick spokeswoman Faith Bender.

Boockvar's campaign emphasized its success with individuals and small donors.

"Our momentum continues because the people of Bucks and Montgomery counties are tired of politics as usual and a Congress that serves special interests rather than the people's interests," Boockvar said in a statement.

The Democrat collected $443,000 from individuals, compared to Fitzpatrick's $378,000. The incumbent, however, collected more overall with $576,000 during the three-month reporting period, thanks to donations from interest groups and party organizations, which gave $198,000 to him and $77,000 to Boockvar.

At the beginning of October, Fitzpatrick had $311,000 in cash reserves. Boockvar, who ended the period with $201,000 in the bank, will have an even harder road ahead because the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently pulled a $1.1 million TV buy from the Philadelphia market, much of which would have aided her.


Contact Sean Walsh at 215-854-5745 or walshse@phillynews.com.

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