2018 Pennsylvania's 7th and 15th congressional district special elections
Special elections for the 7th and 15th congressional districts in Pennsylvania were held on November 6, 2018, following the resignations of Republican U. S. Representatives Pat Meehan and Charlie Dent; these were the last elections held in either district under their configurations made in 2011 by the Pennsylvania Legislature, as new districts drawn in accordance will the ruling of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in League of Women Voters v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania were in effect for the main 2018 congressional elections in November; the bulk of the old 7th became the new 5th District and the bulk of the old 15th became the new 7th District. In both cases, the two candidates on the ballot for these special elections were on the ballot for the regular election held on the same day in their respective successor districts. In January 2018, following revelation that he used taxpayers' money to settle a sexual harassment claim brought by a female staff member, Meehan announced that he would retire from Congress at the end of his current term and not seek reelection in 2018.
On April 27, 2018, Meehan resigned and said he would pay back the taxpayer funds used for the settlement. Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district under the 2011 configuration is located in the Delaware Valley and borders Delaware, it includes portions of Berks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster County and Montgomery County. The district has a Cook PVI score of R+1. In Pennsylvania, primaries are not held for special congressional elections. Instead, nominees are chosen by party committee members from each of the counties represented in the district. Pearl Kim, former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania and Republican nominee for Pennsylvania's 5th congressional district in 2018 Mary Gay Scanlon and Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania's 5th congressional district in 2018 Brianna Johnston, businesswoman Sandra Salas, sex worker In September 2017, Dent announced that he would retire from Congress and not seek re-election to another term in 2018. In April 2018, Dent announced that he would resign in May 2018, not serving out the remainder of his term.
He resigned on May 2018, leaving the seat vacant. In Pennsylvania, primaries are not held for special congressional elections. Instead, nominees are chosen by party members from each of the counties represented in the district. Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district under the 2011 configuration is located in the Lehigh Valley and borders New Jersey, it includes portions of Dauphin County, Lebanon County and Northampton County, the entirety of Lehigh County. The district has a Cook PVI score of R+4. Marty Nothstein, chairman of the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners and Republican nominee for Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district in 2018 Susan Wild, former Allentown Solicitor and Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district in 2018 Tim Silfies, business reporter for WFMZ-TV and Libertarian nominee for Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district in 2018. Official campaign websites of seventh district candidatesPearl Kim for Congress Mary Gay Scanlon for CongressOfficial campaign websites of fifteenth district candidatesMarty Nothstein for Congress Susan Wild for Congress
Patrick Leo Meehan is a former federal prosecutor and a former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, who represented Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district. He was first elected in 2010 and resigned his seat in 2018; the district includes parts of Delaware County, Montgomery County and Lancaster. He succeeded Democrat Joe Sestak. A graduate of Bowdoin College and Temple University, Meehan served as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and as district attorney of Delaware County, Pennsylvania. In January 2018, following the revelation that he used taxpayers' money to settle a sexual harassment claim brought by a female staff member, Meehan announced that he would retire from Congress at the end of his current term, not seek re-election in 2018. On April 27, 2018, Meehan resigned and said he would pay back the taxpayer funds used for the settlement. Born and raised in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania by his parents Leo and Julia, Meehan is one of four siblings.
He attended Bowdoin College in Maine. While at Bowdoin, Meehan was a standout hockey player and went on to work as a National Hockey League referee from 1979 to 1982. Meehan attended Temple Law School in Philadelphia and graduated in 1986 with his Juris Doctor degree. Meehan's career in public service and politics began in 1979 when he worked with Republican candidate David Marston on his Philadelphia mayoral campaign. A year he worked on Roy Zimmerman's campaign for Pennsylvania Attorney General. Meehan went on to serve as Special Counsel to U. S. Senator Arlen Specter, he was a campaign manager for U. S. Senator Rick Santorum, Philadelphia D. A. Ron Castille, State Attorney General Ernie Preate. After graduating from law school in 1986, Meehan went to work as an associate at the law firm Dilworth Paxson LLP. In 1995, Meehan was elected the District Attorney of Delaware County as a Republican. During Meehan's tenure, his staff prosecuted several high-profile cases, including the Du Pont Murder Trial, the 1996 murder of a 22-year-old college student named Aimee Willard.
While serving as District Attorney, Meehan set up the Special Victims Unit for Domestic Violence in Delaware County, offering victims protection from their alleged abusers by allowing the prosecution to occur without the victims testifying in open court. As D. A. he focused on protecting youth by expanding the Youth Aid Panel program for first time offenders and creating a truancy project to limit youth-related crime during the day. Meehan established the United States Department of Justice's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in Pennsylvania; the ICAC is a special unit of detectives who investigate online predators on the web and bring them to justice. Meehan became the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on September 17, 2001, six days after the September 11, 2001 attacks, he was confirmed by the United States Senate. Meehan headed an office of over 200 lawyers and staff backed up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.
S. Postal Inspection Service Office; as U. S. Attorney, Meehan made terrorism, gang-related crime, child internet safety, public corruption priorities for his criminal division. Public corruption in Philadelphia in particular was brought to the spotlight in 2003 when a FBI electronic listening device was found in the Philadelphia Mayor's office. In light of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Meehan formed the Anti-Terrorism Task Force renamed the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to evaluate and prevent future terrorist attacks; this initiative was done in partnership with local and federal law enforcement and emergency responders. The ATAC has led large-scale exercises on biological attacks and the poisoning of the food supply in partnership with Saint Joseph's University in order to help Eastern Pennsylvania prepare for terrorist attacks. Recognizing the expansion of gang-related activity in the eastern part of Pennsylvania, Meehan sought a $2.5 million Department of Justice grant to fight and prevent gang violence for the region.
The unique "Route 222 Corridor Anti-Gang Initiative" brought together elected officials and law enforcement personnel with community groups to fight gangs in a rural area unfamiliar with big-city gang violence. The money was divided among enforcement and rehabilitation; the program aimed not only to increase arrests, but to fund school programs and community centers to educate youth about alternatives to gang life. Continuing the work he began while he was Delaware County D. A. Meehan made child safety on the internet a priority, sponsoring internet safety training seminars with Web Wise Kids and visiting local schools. Meehan's office prosecuted substandard nursing homes and elder care facilities, nefarious lenders who offered ill-advised loans to disadvantaged homeowners; the U. S. Attorney's Office under Meehan was nationally recognized for its work in the field of health-care fraud; the office won more than half a billion dollars in settlements against some of the largest pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy benefit managers, ensuring better self-policing and oversight by the industry.
He announced on July 16, 2008 that
Christina Marie Houlahan is an American Democratic politician, engineer and former United States Air Force officer. She is the U. S. Representative from Pennsylvania's 6th congressional district; the district includes all of Chester County, a suburban county west of Philadelphia, as well as the southern portion of Berks County. Her opponent in the 2018 election was Greg McCauley. Houlahan spent her childhood on various U. S. naval bases including on Oahu. Her father, Andrew C. A. Jampoler, a naval aviator, was born in Poland, to a Jewish family, left the country at age four to escape the Holocaust, He became an historian and author. Houlahan, citing her idols as Indiana Jones and Sally Ride, earned her bachelor's degree in Engineering from Stanford University in 1989, on an AFROTC scholarship, she earned a master's degree in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. After graduating from Stanford University, Houlahan spent 3 years on U. S. Air Force active duty at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, MA.
There she served as a project manager working on space defense technologies. After leaving active duty for the Air Force Reserve, Houlahan went to work for the start-up sportswear company AND1 as Chief Operating Officer; as part of the employee benefits program the company offered 40 paid hours of community service at a location of the employee's choosing. Houlahan dedicated her hours to working with girls and women in science, technology and math. Houlahan became Chief Operating Officer of a non-profit start-up, when AND1 was sold. Citing a need to experience the problems in the U. S. educational system first-hand, Houlahan entered the lifelong learning program at University of Pennsylvania where she re-took courses in the hard sciences. She enrolled in the Teach for America program and began working as an 11th-grade science teacher at Simon Gratz High School in Philadelphia, she withdrew from the Teach for America program after one year and joined Springboard Collaborative, a Philadelphia-based non-profit focusing on early childhood literacy in underserved populations nationwide.
Houlahan served as both President and CFO/COO of Springboard Collaborative before leaving to focus on her political campaign. Houlahan has said that one of the experiences that motivated her to run for Congress was her organization of a bus trip to the Women's March in Washington, D. C. on January 21, 2017. When asked why she chose to begin her political career by running for Congress and not a lower office, she said, “I don’t have time for that; the stakes are too high, I think I’m qualified."Houlahan expected to face two-term Republican incumbent Ryan Costello. However, Costello pulled out of the race after the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania threw out Pennsylvania's congressional map as an unconstitutional partisan Republican gerrymander. While Costello was the only incumbent to retain his previous district number, it was made more compact and bluer than its predecessor, it lost its Republican western portion, around Lebanon. Instead, it now took in all of Chester County, along with the more Democratic portions of Berks County, including Reading.
Had the district existed in 2016, Hillary Clinton would have won it with 52 percent of the vote to Donald Trump's 43 percent. Houlahan took the Democratic nomination unopposed and faced first-time candidate Greg McCauley in the general election. PA-6 is one of the redistricted districts as a result of the January 2018 Pennsylvania Supreme Court gerrymandering ruling. On November 6, 2018, Houlahan defeated McCauley, garnering 58.8% of the vote over McCauley's 41.1%. Houlahan was one of seven Pennsylvania women running for the U. S. House of Representatives in 2018, one of four Democratic women to win, along with Mary Gay Scanlon, Madeleine Dean and Susan Wild. Upon taking office in January 2019, Houlahan became the first Democrat to represent a Chester County-based district in 166 years; the county had been Republican, but has trended much more Democratic in recent years. Houlahan ran on a platform that included healthcare, job creation, campaign finance reform. Other campaign issues she identified included education, family issues, veteran's issues.
Houlahan had a strong record of campaign fundraising, with donations totaling $5 million so far. She was endorsed by many organizations, including Emily's List, Human Rights Campaign, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Project 100, Vote Vets, the Service Employees International Union-PA and several other local unions, she supports the government negotiating drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies and a public option, but opposes a single payer healthcare system. She supports same-sex marriage, the Equality Act, opposes President Trump's memorandum banning transgender individuals from the military, she has stated. Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities United States House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation Committee on Small Business Houlahan lives in Devon, Pennsylvania with her spouse of 27 years, whom she met at Stanford.
They put on hold their goal of running a foot race in every state before age 50 when she entered the race for U. S. Representative; the couple have two adult daughters. Women in the United States House of Representatives Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan official U. S. House website Chrissy Hou
Watertown (city), New York
Watertown is a city in the U. S. state of New York and the county seat of Jefferson County. It is situated 25 miles south of the Thousand Islands, it lies 180 miles northwest of Albany, the state capital and 328 miles northwest of New York City. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 27,023, an increase of 1.2% since 2000. The U. S. Army post Fort Drum is near the city. Named after the many falls on the Black River, the city developed early in the 19th century as a manufacturing center. From years of generating industrial wealth, in the early 20th century the city was said to have more millionaires per capita than any other city in the nation. Geographically, Watertown is located in the central part of Jefferson County, it lies 31 miles south of the Ontario border. The city is served by Watertown International Airport; the city claims to be the birthplace of the five and dime store and the safety pin, it is the home of Little Trees air fresheners. It manufactured the first portable steam engine.
It has the longest continually operating county fair in the United States, holds the Red and Black football franchise, the oldest surviving semi-professional team in the United States. The city of Watertown was settled in 1800 by pioneers from New Hampshire, most notably Hart Massey, Henry Coffeen, Zachariah Butterfield, part of a large migration into New York from New England after the American Revolutionary War; these pioneers chose the area due to the Black River. The pioneers' vision was for an industrial center. All the land was unclear. Elevation was a problem; the western end of the town was 12 to 15 feet higher than the eastern end, with a large depression in the middle. A small stream passed through the town. Within a few years, the center of town was cleared for the ambitious Public Square. Together with the 19th century structures that created a streetscape around it, this has been designated a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places; as industry and businesses flourished, residents built substantial retail buildings and private residences.
The Paddock Arcade, built in 1850 according to European and US models, is the oldest continuously operating enclosed mall in the United States. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as are several significant churches and private mansions; the drop in the Black River at Watertown's location—40 feet in the center of town, 120 feet over 2.5 miles —provided abundant water power for early industry. By the mid-19th century, entrepreneurs had built paper mills and major industries, including the first portable steam engine in 1847. In 1851, the city was joined to the state by the railroad. Other mills joined the business base and generated revenue to support early public works projects like the water system and illuminating gas works in 1853, a telephone system in 1879. Watertown claims that Rodman native Frank W. Woolworth conceived the idea of his mercantile chain while working there in 1878. Woolworth, employed as a clerk in Moore's Store, set up a successful clearance display of low-priced items.
This led to his idea of a store specializing in cut-rate merchandise. Woolworth left Watertown and opened his first store in Utica, New York, in 1879. Among the many manufacturing businesses was the Davis Sewing Machine Company, which originated in Watertown, it was predecessor to George P. Huffman's Huffy Corporation, now an American maker of bicycles and other sporting goods. In 1805 Watertown became the county seat of Jefferson County, it was made an incorporated village in 1816. In 1869, Watertown was incorporated as a city. In 1920, the city adopted a city manager style of government; the Jefferson County Courthouse Complex is an example of the substantial architecture of the city, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. An early industrial city that earned great wealth for many of its citizens by the turn of the 20th century, Watertown developed an educated professional class of doctors and lawyers. A number of factors affected Watertown's progress; the economic center of the country kept moving west, Chicago drew off many of its younger people for business and professional opportunities.
Industrial technology shifted and jobs changed. In the deindustrialization of the mid-20th century, Watertown suffered economic and population declines. Today the city serves as the financial center for a large rural area, it is the closest major community to the post's large population. Since the city is located just 30 miles from the international boundary via the Thousand Islands Bridge, shopping by Canadian visitors is an important part of the local economy. Watertown, South Dakota, was named in the city's honor. In addition to the Paddock Arcade and Public Square, Emerson Place, Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library, Jefferson County Courthouse Complex, Paddock Mansion, Saint Paul's Episcopal Church, Emma Flower Taylor Mansion, Thomas Memorial AME Zion Church, Trinity Episcopal Church and Parish House, Watertown Masonic Temple are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.3 square miles, of which 9.0 square miles are land and 0.3 square miles are water.
The Black River flows westward through the city toward Lake Ontario. The Black River is a world-renowned kayaking destination. Competition-level kayaking events, such as the Blackwater Challenge, have been held on the river. By tradition, the city's name was derived from the abundant water power available from the river
Susan Ellis Wild is an American attorney and politician from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She is the member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district, she was the representative of Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district for the remainder of Charlie Dent's term after he resigned in 2018. Wild is the daughter of Susan Stimus Ellis. Wild's mother was a journalist, her father served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. She was born in West Germany, she lived in France, New Mexico, Washington D. C. Wild volunteered on Jimmy Carter's 1976 presidential campaign, she graduated from American University in 1978. She earned her Juris Doctor at the George Washington University Law School in 1982, she studied under John Banzhaf. Wild became a partner at the law firm Gross McGinley in 1999. Wild lost, she was appointed the first female solicitor of Allentown, Pennsylvania in January 2015. She served as Solicitor of Allentown from January 7, 2015, when she was confirmed by the Allentown City Council, until December 31, 2017, when she resigned from office to pursue her candidacy for the United States House of Representatives to succeed retiring U.
S. Rep. Charlie Dent in 2018. In the 2018 elections, Wild ran for the United States House of Representatives in Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district; that district had been the 15th, represented by seven-term Republican Charlie Dent. She won the Democratic Party primary election and faced Republican Marty Nothstein in the November 6 general election, she defeated Nothstein in the general election. When the final precincts were counted, Wild received 53.4% of the vote. On the same day, Wild ran in a separate special Congressional election for the balance of Dent's term. On November 15, 2018, it was announced that Wild had won the 15th congressional district's special election, receiving 130,353 votes to Nothstein's 129,593 votes; the closer margin in the special election came because it was run under the old lines, thrown out by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in February 2018. Upon taking office, Wild became the first Democrat to represent the Lehigh Valley since 1999, she had two months' more seniority than the rest of the large Democratic freshman class of 2018.
She was one of four Democratic women elected from Pennsylvania in 2018. The others were Madeleine Dean and Chrissy Houlahan; the state's congressional delegation had been all male. Wild has been critical of Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right politician criticized for misogynistic, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim views, embraced by the Trump administration as an ally and partner. In March 2019, Wild and 29 other Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; the letter read in part, "Since the election of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro as president, we have been alarmed by the threat Bolsonaro’s agenda poses to the LGBTQ+ community and other minority communities, labor activists, political dissidents in Brazil. We are concerned that, by targeting hard-won political and social rights, Bolsonaro is endangering Brazil’s long-term democratic future."On March 28, 2019, Wild participated in an event at The George Washington University Law School hosted by the GW Jewish Law Student Association.
While at the event, Wild was asked to respond to recent criticism of fellow democratic freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Wild mentioned that on multiple occasions, she attempted to reach out to Representative Omar about her comments regarding Judaism, AIPAC. Wild indicated; this comes weeks after Wild publicly called Omar's comments "at best, they were tone deaf." Wild and her husband, Russell Wild, divorced in 2003 after 22 years of marriage. They have two adult children and Adrienne, she lives in Pennsylvania. She is Jewish. List of Jewish members of the United States Congress Women in the United States House of Representatives Congresswoman Susan Wild official U. S. House website Susan Wild for Congress official campaign siteBiography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Profile at Vote Smart Financial information at the Federal Election Commission Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States; the composition of the House is established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The House is composed of Representatives who sit in congressional districts that are allocated to each of the 50 states on a basis of population as measured by the U. S. Census, with each district entitled to one representative. Since its inception in 1789, all Representatives have been directly elected; the total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. As of the 2010 Census, the largest delegation is that of California, with fifty-three representatives. Seven states have only one representative: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming; the House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, known as bills, after concurrence by the Senate, are sent to the President for consideration.
In addition to this basic power, the House has certain exclusive powers, among them the power to initiate all bills related to revenue. The House meets in the south wing of the United States Capitol; the presiding officer is the Speaker of the House, elected by the members thereof. The Speaker and other floor leaders are chosen by the Democratic Caucus or the Republican Conference, depending on whichever party has more voting members. Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress of the Confederation was a unicameral body in which each state was represented, in which each state had a veto over most action. After eight years of a more limited confederal government under the Articles, numerous political leaders such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton initiated the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which received the Confederation Congress's sanction to "amend the Articles of Confederation". All states except Rhode Island agreed to send delegates; the issue of how to structure Congress was one of the most divisive among the founders during the Convention.
Edmund Randolph's Virginia Plan called for a bicameral Congress: the lower house would be "of the people", elected directly by the people of the United States and representing public opinion, a more deliberative upper house, elected by the lower house, that would represent the individual states, would be less susceptible to variations of mass sentiment. The House is referred to as the lower house, with the Senate being the upper house, although the United States Constitution does not use that terminology. Both houses' approval is necessary for the passage of legislation; the Virginia Plan drew the support of delegates from large states such as Virginia and Pennsylvania, as it called for representation based on population. The smaller states, favored the New Jersey Plan, which called for a unicameral Congress with equal representation for the states; the Convention reached the Connecticut Compromise or Great Compromise, under which one house of Congress would provide representation proportional to each state's population, whereas the other would provide equal representation amongst the states.
The Constitution was ratified by the requisite number of states in 1788, but its implementation was set for March 4, 1789. The House began work on April 1789, when it achieved a quorum for the first time. During the first half of the 19th century, the House was in conflict with the Senate over regionally divisive issues, including slavery; the North was much more populous than the South, therefore dominated the House of Representatives. However, the North held no such advantage in the Senate, where the equal representation of states prevailed. Regional conflict was most pronounced over the issue of slavery. One example of a provision supported by the House but blocked by the Senate was the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to ban slavery in the land gained during the Mexican–American War. Conflict over slavery and other issues persisted until the Civil War, which began soon after several southern states attempted to secede from the Union; the war culminated in the abolition of slavery. All southern senators except Andrew Johnson resigned their seats at the beginning of the war, therefore the Senate did not hold the balance of power between North and South during the war.
The years of Reconstruction that followed witnessed large majorities for the Republican Party, which many Americans associated with the Union's victory in the Civil War and the ending of slavery. The Reconstruction period ended in about 1877; the Democratic Party and Republican Party each held majorities in the House at various times. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a dramatic increase in the power of the Speaker of the House; the rise of the Speaker's influence began in the 1890s, during the tenure of Republican Thomas Brackett Reed. "Czar Reed", as he was nicknamed, attempted to put into effect his view that "The best system is to have one party govern and the other party watch." The leadership structure of the House developed during the same period, with the positions of Majority Leader and Minority Leader being created in 1899. While the Minority Leader