Democratic enthusiasm was not enough to allow Buckingham multi-millionaire Scott Wallace to claim the seat from incumbent Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick.
Greeted with cheers at the Bucks County Republican Party headquarters in Doylestown Borough shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday, Fitzpatrick came on stage and said thanked his supporters.
The congressman said it was a “big victory for us.”
“I don’t consider you constituents. I don’t consider you friends,” he told the crowd. “I consider you family.”
At Wallace’s election night event at the Sheraton in Falls Township, about 100 to 150 people were in attendance and excitement was in the air. As the evening wore on, it appeared Wallace was going to lose and the energy began to fade.
“I’ve got good news and bad news,” Wallace told the crowd after being greeted with a standing ovation. “The good news is we took the house. Enough to start holding this admin accountable and enough to get the tax returns.”
He further stated his mission was to make sure Democrats won the House of Representatives back.
“Tonight is a huge success. This is the road to recovery. I hope that [Fitzpatrick’s] Problem Solvers Caucus will be able to solve some problems,” Wallace said, adding he believes facts can be used to solve major problems.
Wallace thanked his supports and staff before wishing Fitzpatrick good luck.
Fitzpatrick and Wallace were locked in a close and contentious race fueled by more than $20 million in spending.
The congressman, a former FBI special agent, painted himself as a moderate in an age of partisanship and divide. He has touted his work with the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus and stated he is not afraid to work with both Democrats and Republicans.
Wallace worked to connect with voters and make the case that he was the change that constituents needed. While staying he was not running to only take on Republican President Donald Trump’s policies, the dislike for the president factored heavily into the campaign.
Wallace’s campaign championed a major get out the vote effort, knocking on more than 400,000 doors over the campaign cycle, Eric Nagy, his campaign manager, said on Monday.
Fitzpatrick, whose brother was the previous congressman, hit plenty of events over the past months but stayed away from bringing in big name Republicans to support his campaign at public rallies. He focused on hitting Wallace with ads and pushing his moderate platform.
The congressman also received support from several unions and groups that often endorse Democrats. While he was hit by some Republican votes for not being conservative enough, he proudly showed off endorsements from groups that often supported candidates on the other side of the aisle.
In recent weeks, Wallace received bad press relating to a curse muttered in a place of worship during a political forum and a comment comparing the intelligence of law enforcement officers to dogs. Wallace rebuffed the comments.