Santarsiero addresses crowd at Lower Bucks office opening

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Matt SchicklingWire photo – Around 100 supporters attended the grand opening of the Democratic coordinated campaign office in Bristol Borough on Monday.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has found a home base in Lower Bucks.

About 100 supporters gathered at the new coordinated campaign office on Mill Street in Bristol Borough on Monday for its opening event. Bucks Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia and state Rep. Steve Santarsiero, a candidate for the 8th Congressional District, were the main speakers.

Ellis-Marseglia threw jabs at Donald Trump, much in the same way she has at previous speaking engagements. She similarly addressed the Republican nominee at the opening of the Doylestown coordinated office last month, and supported Clinton as a delegate at the Democratic National Convention.

Santarsiero also had choice words for Trump.

“We have to make sure that someone who is absolutely unqualified to be president of the United States does not get that chance,” he said.

He urged Clinton supporters to vote for candidates down the ticket, specifically mentioning U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty and Josh Shapiro, who is running for attorney general in Pennsylvania.

Mostly, he focused on his own race against Republican Brian Fitzpatrick, a retired FBI agent and brother of Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, who currently holds that seat.

“The 8th District is a swing seat,” Santarsiero said. “It’s an open seat. We don’t have an incumbent, although they’re trying to pretend there is one.”

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Matt Schickling / Wire photo – State Rep. Steve Santarsiero, congressional candidate for the 8th District, speaks during the Democratic office opening.

Santarsiero emphasized issues like gun safety, the opioid epidemic and protecting the environment during his short speech. He also reaffirmed his support for Clinton.

“There’s a real synergy between our campaigns,” Santarsiero told the Wire after the event. “I just can tell by the energy out on the street. I think it’s definitely in our favor. I have an opponent who won’t even be clear about whether he supports the Republican nominee. I stand with Hillary Clinton.”

The question of whether his opponent supports Trump has been common from the Santarsiero campaign. Perhaps he will get to ask it directly during the candidates’ first debate, which is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 30, though there has been no official announcement or details released.

“I’d love to debate him many times between now and the election,” Santarsiero said. “It’s incumbent upon candidates to make themselves available to the public, and debate is the best forum for that to happen.”

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