Pa. GOP Taps Conservative for Greenwood Seat

The GOP on Thursday unanimously tapped a socially conservative county commissioner to run for the congressional seat of retiring moderate Republican Rep. Jim Greenwood (search).

The nod for Bucks County Commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick (search), 41, pits him against Democratic attorney Ginny Schrader (search) on the Nov. 2 ballot for Pennsylvania's 8th Congressional District.

"I am humbled by your support and proud of your endorsement," Fitzpatrick said after the 127-0 vote at the district's GOP nominating convention.

"We have 83 days to win an election," he said. "Nobody will outwork me. They won't outwork any one of you. We know what we need to do."

The district is made up of Bucks County and parts of Montgomery County and Philadelphia. It trends Republican in House races but voted for Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell in 2002 and the Democrat in the last three presidential elections.

Greenwood initially backed state Sen. Joe Conti, but later said he would also be happy with Fitzpatrick.

Greenwood's retirement shocked colleagues and party officials who had assumed he would coast to re-election this fall. He will start early next year as president of Biotechnology Industry Organization. The Washington lobbying firm and trade association represents pharmaceutical companies and genetic researchers.

Schrader could not be immediately reached Thursday.