Fitzpatrick’s GOP Challenger, Bradley Lanning

Bradley Lanning is the newly hatched competitor for Brian Fitzpatrick’s Republican slot on next year’s ballot for PA District 01 Congressman. Since Fitzpatrick has won reelection since 2017 by carefully modulating his votes to remain a moderate, Lanning is attacking him from the right. His Facebook page will help distinguish him from Brad Lanning the standup comic.

Lanning, a married realtor from Perkasie, is hard on immigration. Pro Second Amendment. Big on parental rights in schools, which means rejecting mandates on vaccines and masks. That was a winning message for Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin in Virginia.

Lanning runs up the Republican flag on the usual issues of lower taxes and smaller government. Da-dum, da-dum, da-dum. But he is not running as a Republican.

Bradley Lanning and family - Bucks County Beacon - Fitzpatrick's GOP Challenger, Bradley Lanning
Bradley Lanning and family

He is running as an America First party candidate. The remodeled America First party is a conservative, semi-isolationist party (it’s grandpappy was 100% isolationist) that advocates patriotism and, well, thinking about America before trying to imagine other parts of the world. Bradley Lanning might want to ponder whether the party has its head in the sand a bit much. The page it devotes to conventions invites people to buy tickets to its 2006 National Convention, which may be the last one it had.

Lanning states that he may look like a Trump follower, what with the America First business, but he’s not.

Now some may call Brian Fitzpatrick a RHINO, a Republican In Name Only, because he has voted with Democrats on no-brainer issues like the hard infrastructure bill. But he returned to the Republican fold when a vote was needed to call an unruly mob a threat to democracy, or to fail to impeach a president. Such cabibrations have pleased voters in his Congressional District.

Lanning sees it another way: Fitzpatrick is not a moderate, but “far left” on “big economic issues.”

“His positions on the $15 federal minimum wage and the Paris Climate Agreement are not centrist positions and have far-reaching impact,” Lanning said. “I flat-out reject his approach.”

So far there are three other people who have announced a run for the primary to the left of Fitzpatrick. That would be for the Democratic primary in May. They are Ashley Ehasz, an Army vet and former Apache helicopter pilot from Bensalem; Paul Fermo, a former Navy pilot from Lower Makefield, and a third contender who may need further explanation.

The activist Henry Conoly has filed to run as a Green Party candidate. The usual role played by the Green Party candidate is to be a spoiler, to pull votes away from whoever runs as a Democrat. So let’s see. Conoly lists his residence as Lenapehoking Territory. His religion as wiccan. He is pro abortion and Black Lives Matter. His motto is “Compost the Rich.” He says he’s a member of the Socialist Rifle Association. Had enough?

The race, in its early stages, is an all-Bucks county affair running to replace Brian Fitzpatrick. Except for Henry Conoly, if he is the same Henry Conoly who ran for Hatfield Township Ward 5 commissioner as a Libertarian in 2019.

He did get 4.68% of the votes.

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Linda Lee

A former editor and reporter at The New York Times, Linda Lee has written seven books, and started a magazine about real estate and design in Miami. While her interest lies in Bucks County, her family lives near Harrisburg. She has a Shih Tzu named Yolo.

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