Ashley Ehasz Ramps Up Campaign Against Incumbent Congressman

The Democrat will face off against the Republican incumbent.

Ashley Ehasz speaking to teachers on Thursday. Credit: Tom Sofield/NewtownPANow.com

Democratic congressional candidate Ashley Ehasz said on Thursday that she is ready for her second turn taking on four-term incumbent GOP Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick this November.

At the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers’ (NFT) union office in Middletown Township on Thursday, Ehasz received the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers Pennsylvania (AFT-PA), which represents more than 36,000 members in the Keystone State. It was her campaign’s first labor union endorsement of the election cycle.

Members of the NFT and AFT posing with Ehasz.
Credit: Tom Sofield/NewtownPANow.com

The Ehasz campaign added the education union’s endorsement to a number of others, including from EMILYs List, NewDems Action Fund, and VoteVets.

Ehasz, a U.S. Army veteran and public school graduate, thanked the teachers’ union for their support and said she believes in “greater oversight of the charter school system to real solutions for affordable higher education.”

Ehasz said she supports “high-quality education” in public schools.

While Fitzpatrick, a former FBI special agent, has held back past primary and general election challengers since his first race in 2016, Ehasz’s campaign thinks they have a better shot this year.

Ehasz didn’t talk about whether national Democratic groups were planning to throw their support and funding behind her campaign, but she said she already has a roster of groups behind her and helping support her message.

“For us,” she said, “it’s about talking to voters and making sure we have a plan to do that.”

The campaign and candidate have cited Ehasz’ familiarity with voters due to her second run for the First District Congressional seat, recent election wins for Democrats, and a message they believe will connect with voters. The campaign is putting a focus on protecting access to abortion services and fighting to protect democracy.

Ehasz will have to make that case to voters as she goes against Fitzpatrick, who has strong name recognition.

The Democrat launched her campaign last April in a bid to have more time to fundraise, gain endorsements, and get in front of voters. She remained active in Democratic events since her 2022 loss.

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick speaking at a 2022 campaign event.
Credit: Tom Sofield/NewtownPANow.com

Fitzpatrick has proven to be a skilled fundraiser and entered April with $3.6 million in the bank, while Ehasz campaign had approximately $820,000 on hand. Her campaign has pointed out that they have raised $1.4 million this election cycle and have had strong fundraising cycles.

NFT President Tara Huber, a longtime Neshaminy High School teacher, said Ehasz will support public schools and educators if elected.

“Unfortunately, the incumbent has failed to recognize the invaluable contributions of our teachers. Instead, he has allowed our schools to come under siege from extremist forces, threatening our fundamental freedoms and the very fabric of our education system,” she said.

AFT-PA President Arthur Steinberg speaking.
Credit: Tom Sofield/NewtownPANow.com

AFT-PA President Arthur Steinberg noted Ehasz’s support of Democratic school board candidates in the First Congressional District in the past. He said those candidates weren’t focused on culture wars, adding that Fitzpatrick has supported “MAGA extremists” for school board races.

“We had voters stand up and reject the extremists,” Ehasz said.

After speaking with teachers, Ehasz told this news organization that Fitzpatrick, who was endorsed by then-President Donald Trump in 2020 but has worked to brand himself an “independent voice,” wants to “go after our schools and turn them into battlegrounds” for the culture wars. The message, she believes, will work with voters.

Ehasz lost the 2022 general election to Fitzpatrick by 10 percentage points, a gap of close to 36,000 votes.

Fitzpatrick’s recent primary win over Mark Houck was by 23 percentage points. While an overwhelming victory for the congressman, it marks his smallest victory against a primary challenge by percentage of the vote in his political career.

Fitzpatrick and his campaign did not return a request for comment.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.