Republican congressional candidate Dean Malik’s campaign began with friends and acquaintances asking him to run. On Saturday, it moved forward with a public rally.
During his speech before about 50 supporters, Malik commented on the age of the moderate Republican in Bucks County. For years, true conservatives would get pushed aside for the more marketable moderate Republicans. The election of Donald Trump changed that, Malik said.
“Donald Trump changed the game. There is no room for moderates anymore, you need to choose a side,” the Republican lawyer said.
Malik made the case that he was the candidate to elect in the primary against Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick.
“People have to understand when they vote for me what they will be getting,” Malik said shortly before his campaign rally outside the Bucks County Administration Building.
“We might not have the money of Brian Fitzpatrick’s campaign, but we have the passion,” Malik said.
Where the popular feeling is that Fitzpatrick was imposed on the district, Malik said, nobody is imposing his campaign on the district.
The rational, Malik explained, is that residents in the area were wanting “real Republican” representation in Washington D.C. Those supporters do not feel that current Republican incumbent Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick is representing their point of view, one that is more closely aligned with President Donald Trump that Republican establishment politicians.
“We need people like Dean who are true conservatives in Washington to support our president,” said Marianne Wright, a resident of Montgomery County.
Before the change in congressional maps, Wright was in the Eighth Congressional District. However, she is now out of the First Congressional District by roughly a mile, but will continue to support Malik, a Marine Corps veteran.
Dave Sager is a Republican committeeman in the First Congressional District who was in attendance at Saturday’s rally.
“It’s so disappointing to see how he (Fitzpatrick) has turned out,” Sager said.
Malik said his grassroots effort has helped him get onto the ballot in the newly revamped First Congressional District. Supporters and volunteers worked to get 2,300 signatures that were filed with the state. The requirement to get on the ballot is 1,000 signatures.
Fitzpatrick’s re-election campaign began earlier this year and has garnered support from a number of Republican officials throughout the First Congressional District, including Bucks County Commissioner Rob Loughery, former Gov. Mark Schweiker, and former Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley.
Since being elected, Fitzpatrick has painted himself as an independent Republican focused on his district. He drew ire from some Trump supporters after he wrote-in his vote for Mike Pence and differed from the president on healthcare. However, the incumbent has supported the Republican tax reform plan that is often heralded by Trump during public events.
Analysis site FiveThirtyEight ranks Fitzpatrick’s congressional voting record as 84.3 percent in line with Trump’s support.
Malik has previously run for congress, but this year’s effort appears to be his strongest effort yet.
Editor’s Note: Publisher/Editor Tom Sofield’s father, Chris, is the campaign manager for Republican Dean Malik’s 2018 bid for congress.