Doylestown lawyer Dean Malik threw his hat in the ring for the 2018 Republican primary election this week.
During an announcement at the Irish Rover in Middletown, Malik told a group of supporters that he would primary incumbent Republican Brian Fitzpatrick next spring. The conservative candidate said he planned to challenge Fitzpatrick after many Republicans in the Eighth Congressional District asked him to step forward.
“This is a tremendous opportunity,” Malik in a phone interview with LevittownNow.com Wednesday.
Malik’s first foray into politics was in 2010 when he considered running for congress but ended up supporting Mike Fitzpatrick in his successful bid for congress. In 2016, he decided “spur of the moment” to get in the GOP primary race against then-candidate Scott Petri. Once Brian Fitzpatrick entered the race, Malik said he was elbowed aside and left the race in February 2016.
“This is different. Starting this past spring, Brian hasn’t supported critical items that are part of President Trump’s agenda,” Malik said.
The military veteran said he supports President Donald Trump’s agenda and stated the policy ideas are larger than the businessman turned politician. He said the beliefs existed in the Republican party before Trump ran for president but did not receive the support it enjoys currently.
Malik, a husband and father to four, said running for congress again was not on his radar, but he kept receiving support from Eighth Congressional District residents. He met with them, learned their concerns and jumped into the race earlier this week once he felt support was strong enough.
“Out of respect to all those people who reached out to me, I decided to do it,” he said.
Malik, 46, said he believes in a limited government of enumerated powers, personal and economic liberty, tax reform that would grow the economy, a strong national defense and leadership throughout the world. He added that health care is a major concern for him because the advent of Obamacare meant his family saw diminished coverage at a higher price.
The Marine Corps. veteran who served in Iraq said he was “appalled” by the way former President Barack Obama handled the Middle East and the withdraw of troops from Iraq. He said America needs firm leadership in that area of the world.
“We must lead from the front and put American interests first,” he said.
Malik’s religious background is much different than those of other candidates who have run in recent years. The Catholic was raised by a Muslim father from Pakistan and a Jewish mother. Both whom taught at Villanova University.
The candidate said he is running on what he believes in and will stand for those values if he is selected to run in the general election against the Democratic challenger.
When asked how he would compete with the campaign coffers of the incumbent Fitzpatrick, Malik said his support has been grassroots and will work hard to give Republicans a second option. In an interview during his last run for congress, Malik said he was not a “country club Republican” and relied on more organic support.
Mike Barley, Fitzpatrick’s campaign spokesperson, said the campaign for the congressman does not begin until next year and they would “not be engaging in campaign discussions prior to then.” However, he added they welcomed all those who plan to run to represent the district.