Former Army Ranger Kevin Strouse (D) will run against Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), he announced Thursday, giving Democrats a potentially strong recruit in the swing district.
Strouse emphasized his military background and struck a bipartisan tone in his announcement.
"When I was serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, it didn't matter whether the Ranger next to me was a Democrat or a Republican, all that mattered was that we worked together and got the job done," he said in a statement announcing his campaign. "I've dedicated my life to public service and solving tough challenges and I know Washington can do better at strengthening the middle-class, protecting our national security and creating good paying jobs. The families of the 8th District need leaders who have proven they will work for common-sense solutions, not the broken politics of Washington."
Fitzpatrick is a top Democratic target, though he may be tough to beat.
Democrats barely defeated him in 2006 with a strong candidate during a wave election, and the GOP has redrawn his district to be more Republican after he won back his old seat in 2010. Fitzpatrick ran eight points ahead of Mitt Romney in the district and won with 57 percent in 2012.
With Strouse Democrats are following a playbook that's worked in the past: Former Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), who defeated Fitzpatrick in 2006 only to lose to him in their rematch, was also an Army vet.