Conor Lamb became a darling of the Democratic Party when he won in a special election for Congress in March 2018 in Pennsylvania’s 18th District. He successfully contested his home district, near Pittsburgh, beating the Republican incumbent, Rick Saccone, by 627 votes. Trump won that district by about 20 points. Lamb succeeded despite being significantly outspent by super PACs and special interest groups, using funding that came from individuals through a grassroots campaign.
Since then, Pennsylvania’s Congressional map has been redrawn and Lamb is running again in the midterms. Lamb supports job creation, investment in infrastructure, affordable health care, Medicare and Social Security, reforms to the student loan system, investments in energy, unions, and solutions to the heroin crisis, all from a Democratic perspective. This young former Marine and federal prosecutor was successful in March because he focused on issues important to his district, rather than towing a strict Democratic Party line. For this reason, he wants only stronger background checks for gun ownership, rather than stricter gun control measures. He also supports President Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs. Let’s support this Democratic candidate who knows how to appeal to the voters in the very red 17th District! His campaign focuses on the need for new leaders in Congress who can work together to get things done for working families.
Another Pennsylvania Democratic woman runs to take back the House! Jessica (Jess) King, a working mom and a leader in local economic development, believes the American dream should be for all of us. Born and raised near the farmlands in Leola, PA, King now lives in Lancaster with her two daughters and Mennonite pastor husband. King never intended to run for office, but after a career fighting for working families in Pennsylvania, she joined the race stating: “too many of us are working hard for too little while a greedy few rig the game in Washington.”
Republican Rep. Lloyd Smucker, who represented District 16, is now running for the new incarnation of that district resulting from the PA redistricting plan — District 11. He is a former state senator and businessman. King, who has been the executive of a non-profit which helps create small businesses and grow jobs, faces a big challenge. However, many pundits believe that these Democratic Congressional women candidates in PA can pull out some of these Democratic victories! In the 11th district, Smucker has voted with Trump’s policies 96% of the time, while Trump’s popularity has declined. Further, Trump won PA in 2016 by only 0.7 points.
King’s campaign issues include: a fair economy, Medicare-for-all, women’s rights and women’s health, immigrant rights, and gun violence and safety. Her endorsements range from Lancaster leaders (County Commissioner, Mayor, City Council members) to Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, to AFL-CIO, End Citizen’s United, NEA, Climate Hawks, and numerous others. Bernie Sanders also endorsed Jess King, saying that she was a great candidate who is taking on a progressive agenda with a strong grassroots ground operation. She’s in the process of visiting more than 50,000 households and could still use WNDC support and donations since her Republican opponent has excellent financial resources.
Mary Gay Scanlon is the Democratic candidate running to represent Pennsylvania’s newly redrawn 5th Congressional District. Although this district consists of parts of the old 7th district that had been represented by Republican Congressman Meehan until he resigned in April, voters in the newly drawn 5th voted for Clinton over Trump by a wide margin. Many pollsters, including Cook and Inside Elections, consider this seat “likely” Democratic! Let’s help Scanlon win this open seat!
Scanlon is an attorney who has long been an advocate for women’s and children’s rights, and has held elective office as a school board member. The national pro bono counsel at a Philadelphia law firm for the past 14 years, she is also heavily involved in protecting immigrants. Among her other issues are gun reform, criminal justice reform, LGBTQ equality, and expanding access to health care.
This is the only Congressional race in PA to pit two women candidates against each other. The Republican candidate is Pearl Kim, a Senior Deputy Attorney General of PA. Pundits suggest her strategy will be to run against Trump and to engage women voters. As a result, although this district is considered “likely” Democratic right now, Scanlon will need help all the way to the general election to secure this seat.
Congressional Candidate Watch: Chrissy Houlahan for Pennsylvania’s 6th District!
Chrissy Houlahan is the Democratic candidate running for Pennsylvania’s newly redrawn 6th Congressional District. Houlahan, compelled to run after the 2016 election, raised substantial campaign funds and ran unopposed. She was endorsed by former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and supported by Emily’s List. District 6 is called “likely Democratic” by pollsters Cook and Inside Elections. Her Republican opponent, Greg McCauley, entered the race when incumbent Rep. Ryan Costello retired. He is considered by many an “accidental” candidate, who is a strong conservative without a campaign operation and little funding. Republicans are concerned. Houlahan’s story is an American one! Her father, a Holocaust survivor, came to America with his widowed mother seeking safety and opportunity. He joined the US Navy and showed his daughter service and duty. She attended Stanford on a ROTC scholarship, and served in the US Air Force. More recently, she has served as President and COO/CFO of Springboard Collaborative, an educational organization focused on early childhood literacy. Her campaign issue portfolio includes: growing the economy, healthcare for all, reproductive rights, gun violence, and immigration reform, among others.
Houlahan is running to bring her public service passion and business savvy to Washington. The road to take the House back is right through Pennsylvania’s District 6, where Hillary Clinton narrowly beat Trump in 2016. WNDC, let’s help Houlahan grab this seat and take the House back!
Susan Wild, experienced civil litigator, is taking her fight for families to the newly redrawn 7th Congressional District in Pennsylvania. She emerged victorious from a primary field of 8 contenders, showing her campaigning savvy. She’ll need it. Although her newly redrawn district leans slightly Democratic, Republicans plan to put lots of money into tv ads to back her GOP competitor, Marty Nothstein. Both candidates are new, with low name recognition, and therefore have great scope to define themselves.
Nothstein is an Olympic cycling champion who cites himself as “principled conservative” while promising to end sanctuary cities, curtail abortion rights, and support gun rights. His pro-Trump message contrasts sharply with Wild’s progressive platform. Wild plans to stop ICE raids, ban assault weapons, and fight for a woman’s right to choose. She is resolutely anti-Trump, even having helped a Syrian family stay in the country despite being affected by the travel ban. She will fight for jobs, protect Medicare and Social Security, and defend the environment. Learn more about Susan Wild’s story, her stances, and the chance to add a woman’s voice back into the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation.