Mark Houck, an anti-abortion advocate from Upper Bucks County, has declared he will challenge incumbent Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick in the 2024 primary.
Houck’s announcement was made Wednesday through Catholic news organizations and a Philadelphia talk show host. A campaign website was also placed online.
Houck, 49, of Haycock Township, which is north of Nockamixon State Park, gained national attention last year after federal authorities arrested him for allegedly knocking down an abortion-rights activist outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Philadelphia. At a trial in January, Houck was found not guilty and argued the other man threatened his 12-year-old son, according to court records.
“I have seen first-hand what an out of control government can do to its citizens,” Houck said on his website. “I will fight to protect all people and their rights under God and our Constitution. My platform is based on common sense.”
Houck’s campaign website promises he would limit government, support a strong military, fight to help veterans, advocate for a “diverse energy policy that includes all energy sources,” fight “unions, administrations, and indoctrination” in schools, support school choice, “defend all human life at all stages of development,” and “restore family values” if he is elected to represent the First Congressional District. He also said he does not want a “woke” military and would “address the crisis in fatherhood as it pertains to juvenile and adult crime.”
In an interview with a website called The Church Militant, Houck said Fitzpatrick’s time in office is nearing an end, citing his four terms in Washington D.C.
“I’ve known the Fitzpatrick family for a long time. I have the highest respect for the Fitzpatrick family. I honor his service to our country, but the time has come, I think, for a change in our district,” Houck told the website.
TalkRadio 1210 WPHT host Dom Giordano interviewed Houck Thursday.
Houck, a husband and father of seven, said he has a “duty to save the republic.”
“Given that God wants it, we’re in it to win it. I look forward to the journey,” Houck said.
Houck is a Lower Bucks County native, a former teacher in Philadelphia and Montgomery County, and a former staff member at Bucks County’s juvenile correction facility.
Houck has been a leader for the King’s Men, a Catholic ministry for young Catholic men.
Houck would be the third candidate running for the seat, which covers all of Bucks County and part of Montgomery County. Fitzpatrick and Democrat Ashley Ehasz are already in the race.
Houck faces an uphill battle against Fitzpatrick, who has had strong support and often wins over moderate votes. Fitzpatrick is a strong fundraiser with close ties to Republican congressional leadership.
Houck’s arrest by FBI special agents last year drew outrage by some conservative politicians and media pundits, who alleged President Joe Biden’s administration was cracking down on anti-abortion activists. Federal officials denied the claim.
Houck’s family told news outlets an FBI SWAT team raided his home, which the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office disputed. Images from the raid showed armed FBI special agents, but not a tactical team.
In May, Houck testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government about his arrest.