DePasquale, with support from DCCC, announces run against Perry
State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is officially running against Rep. Scott Perry in 2020, and the U.S. House's campaign arm has already voiced its support for the York County native.
DePasquale, a Democrat, on Sunday announced he will be filing paperwork to run for Congress, just two days after former 10th District Democratic candidate George Scott said he wouldn't challenge Perry a second time. It ended days of speculation that DePasquale was gearing up for a bid to oust Perry, a Carroll Township Republican.
Tom Brier, an author and attorney from Hershey, also has stated he intends to seek the Democratic line in the race to challenge Perry.
"Washington has rigged the system against us," DePasquale wrote on Facebook on Sunday. "Tomorrow, with your help, I'm going to punch back — and fight for people here at home."
The Republican Party of Pennsylvania immediately went on the offensive after the announcement, alleging DePasquale is using the House bid as a launching pad for a higher office such as governor or the U.S. Senate.
“Egregiously, DePasquale has been a fraud and a failure as auditor general, holding himself out as an independent fiscal watchdog, all the while jet-setting across Pennsylvania while expensing taxpayers for nearly $100,000 as he used his official office to boost his personal political profile in advance of this congressional announcement," the statement read.
Observers have noted DePasquale has a high profile in the state because of those statewide visits to tout audits, giving him significant name recognition. He also has powerful connections within the Democratic Party. Both could boost fundraising efforts.
And those qualities have been noticed by more than just political analysts, as Mike Gwin, regional spokesman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, lent the DCCC's support for DePasquale after the announcement.
“Middle-class families in Pennsylvania have been ignored and neglected by congressman Perry and his partisan, special-interest driven agenda for too long," Gwin said. "Eugene DePasquale has already proven himself to be an effective watchdog of taxpayer money as auditor, and he will be an effective fighter in Washington for hard-working Pennsylvanians.”
Gwin would not elaborate on DePasquale's run beyond the provided statement.
The DCCC had supported Scott in last year's midterm elections by adding him to the "Red to Blue List," a list of top-tier candidates to whom the organization offers organizational and fundraising support throughout their campaigns.
Brier, the only other Democrat now seeking that party's line, brushed off the DCCC's immediate support for DePasquale as "establishment" politics.
"The only endorsement I seek is from the citizens of the 10th District, not the establishment," Brier said, adding he is uniquely qualified because of his book on the founders' philosophy of government, experience as a clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and his work at an international law firm.
Last year, Scott lost by less than three points to Perry, a Carroll Township native. That has been said to have been partially because of new congressional lines implemented in February 2018 by the state Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court found the lines were gerrymandered to favor Republicans. And with the new map, Democrats have seen progress in districts throughout the state.
The district now includes northern York County, part of Cumberland County and all of Dauphin County. Scott won Dauphin County, the largest portion of the district, with 54% of the vote.
— Logan Hullinger can be reached at email@example.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullY