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news from the trail: pa-06

Daily Local, 9/8/18

COATESVILLE – Community members and local activists met with 6th District Democratic congressional candidate Chrissy Houlahan and former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords, D-Ariz. for an anti-gun violence roundtable discussion at the New Life in Christ Fellowship church Friday afternoon.

Houlahan and Giffords were joined by Giffords’ husband, former astronaut and retired Navy Captain Mark Kelly, and Dan Helmer, an Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran and vice chair of VoteVets, a political action committee that supports veterans’ interests.

Houlahan, who is a retired Air Force captain, said fighting gun violence has been a key issue in her campaign for Congress, and she can bring a unique perspective as a veteran.

She said she supports policies such as universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole, keeping guns away from domestic abusers, allowing the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence and reinstating a ban on assault weapons.

Weapons of war don’t belong in the hands of civilians, she said.

The New York Times, 8/31/18

Usually you only get to dream about a candidate like Chrissy Houlahan. People in the Philadelphia suburbs actually get to vote for her.

She’s brainy: a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Stanford, a master’s in technology and policy from M.I.T. She’s bold: service in the U.S. Air Force. She has entrepreneurial bona fides from her years as the chief operating officer of an athletic wear company but also had a top job for a group promoting childhood literacy. She’s a wife and mother, with two grown daughters.

So why, at 51, has she set her sights on the House of Representatives, when she never ran for any office before?

The answer is Nov. 8, 2016. To vote for Hillary Clinton, she put on a pantsuit. Her gay daughter wore all white, honoring suffragists. That night they broke out the Champagne. “I thought that history would be made,” Houlahan recalled.

When it wasn’t, her father, a Holocaust survivor, cried, fearing what Donald Trump’s victory could mean for the vulnerable and the powerless. Her daughter panicked about L.G.B.T. people. “Unnerving,” Houlahan called it, and her response was “to be part of the solution.” She has since raised about $3 million and emerged as one of the Democratic Party’s best bets to turn a red seat blue.

DAILY LOCAL, 8/13/18

Democratic candidate Chrissy Houlahan is listening and learning, while getting out and about, during a run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Monday morning Houlahan visited the ChesPenn Health Services Center for Community Health in Coatesville.

The candidate received a tour from Tamara Fox, director of organizational development, who noted that the agency depends partly on federal funding.

Houlahan hopes to replace two-term 6th Congressional District Rep. Ryan Costello, a Republican, who opted to not seek re-election. Houlahan will face off against Republican candidate Greg McCauley in November.

Houlahan discussed her former career in the military and as a business owner.

Reading eagle, 7/18/18

Democratic congressional candidate Chrissy Houlahan visited the Teachers in the Parks program Tuesday on Third Street in Reading.

Program founder and teacher Matt Hathaway told Houlahan that the initiative helps to prevent the summer slide, the loss of math and reading skills over the summer break. Students are matched with teachers and given fun ways to retain and improve their skills.

Its mission is similar to Springboard Collaborative, where Houlahan served as president. That Philadelphia-based program coaches teachers and families to help students retain what they learn in school and improve literacy.

“I have a deep and abiding interest and also experience in early childhood development and pre-K through fourth-grade literacy,” Houlahan said.

the philadelphia inquirer, 03/15/18

Continuing his push into high-profile congressional races, former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed two Democratic candidates in the Philadelphia suburbs Thursday: Chrissy Houlahan of Chester County and Andy Kim from Burlington County.

“Chrissy Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, business leader, and former teacher, and she is precisely the type of public servant we need serving in Congress,” Biden said in a news release issued by the Houlahan campaign.

The economist, 02/17/18

IF DEMOCRATIC strategists could build a candidate for Pennsylvania’s sixth congressional district, she would probably look something like Chrissy Houlahan. A 50-year-old former air-force captain, entrepreneur and chemistry teacher with Teach for America, Mrs Houlahan appears, crucially, to have been none of those impressive things for political effect. Until recently she had not contemplated running for anything...“I was raised to respect democracy,” she says. “But I felt on this occasion the people had got it wrong.”

The philadelphia inquirer, 01/17/18 

I rode to the Women’s March, now nearly a year ago, with 51 women and two men in a big bus packed with people, donuts, fried chicken and colorful signs. It was positively life changing. The March brought together so many concerned citizens with disparate issues — the commonality was a collective desire for change. 

I returned from the March like many others: inspired. How could I use this crisis in our democracy and turn my anxiety and concern to good? I’m an engineer, veteran, business woman and an educator.

I decided to run a different kind of race — to run for Congress right here in our district where I have lived for the last 23 years.

U.S. News, 12/29/17

Chrissy Houlahan – a Stanford-educated engineer, a former Air Force Reserve captain, teacher, chief operating officer and mother to a daughter who's a member of the LGBT community – never really considered the gravity her candidacy could take on.

Following weeks of phone calls, training sessions and meetings with influencers around the district, Houlahan, 50, launched her bid for Congress in the most populous state without a woman in its delegation. 

Based on strong early fundraising, she was just one of 11 Democratic challengers to make the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue" list, denoting "top tier" recruits. 

POLITICS PA, 11/15/17

Chrissy Houlahan, who is running to challenge Congressman Ryan Costello (R-Chester) next year, was added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s ‘Red to Blue’ program, a program that highlights Democratic candidates.

“An Air Force veteran and executive, Chrissy Houlahan has spent her life in the business and nonprofit sectors working to create jobs and give back to her community,” DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján said.

The DCCC also highlighted Houlahan’s business experience as part of their support.

“As an executive at AND1, Chrissy helped grow the company to approximately $250 million in revenue and created more than 250 jobs in the Philadelphia area. …  It’s clear why she’s been able to build one of the strongest campaigns in the country,” Luján said.

The philadelphia citizen, 9/7/17

"Like the best outsiders, what Houlahan is selling transcends the normal exchange of politics. It’s not about a litany of policies, so much as what her story represents: True American exceptionalism, the sense that inclusive values matter, and that what’s been lost—the urge to do big things together—can be regained.

"Houlahan is the daughter of Andrew Jampoler, a Holocaust survivor and career naval aviator who spent a lifetime repaying the country that took him in at Ellis Island. His daughter grew up idolizing Sally Ride and, though her astronaut dream didn’t come to be, she built a mind-numbingly varied resume with one clear constant: Chrissy Houlahan builds things."

Lebanon Daily News, 8/10/17

"People are looking for a different kind of leader and they are looking for somebody who has that real-world experience," Houlahan said. "Somebody who’s done the kinds of things that they are being challenged to do every day. Whether its serving in the military, whether its building businesses, whether its educating their children, all of those are the things that people are crying out for in a leader."

The NEW YORK TIMES, 07/05/2017

WASHINGTON — Somewhere on the road between here and Pennsylvania, the idea began to take root for Chrissy Houlahan: “I can’t not run.”

The daughter and granddaughter of Navy pilots, Ms. Houlahan had served 16 years as an Air Force engineer on active duty and in the Reserves. But in January, between conversations on a bus bound for the Women’s March and thoughts about her father, a Holocaust survivor rattled by the presidential election, she felt it was time to serve again.

In April, Ms. Houlahan, 50, who most recently worked as head of a nonprofit organization devoted to childhood literacy, entered the Democratic primary to challenge Representative Ryan A. Costello, a second-term Republican from the suburbs northwest of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia inquirer, 6/12/17

An influential women’s political group is jumping into one of the most closely-watched congressional races in the Philadelphia area, giving an early endorsement to a Democrat who hopes to capitalize on President Trump’s struggles in moderate territory.

EMILY’s List, which played aggressively in last year’s U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania, endorsed Chrissy Houlahan Monday she builds her campaign against the 6th district’s Republican incumbent, Rep. Ryan Costello.

The Chester County-based district is one of a handful of traditionally Republican districts where Trump lost last year, giving Democrats hope that they can use a mid-term backlash to flip the seat and others like it to  take control of the House. Houlahan, a first-time candidate with military and business experience, has emerged as one of the party’s top recruits and even GOP leaders say the race could be a telling one for the national picture

nbc news, 5/29/2017

For Chrissy Houlahan, who said she always felt that running for office would be a natural extension of her service in the Air Force, it's all about how her outlook on society has shifted since serving.

It's what helped her connect with the 53 people who got on the bus she organized to the 2017 Women's March in Washington. At the start of the trip down from Pennsylvania, she only knew nine. Now she knows them all, and she's running as a Democrat in the 6th Congressional District.

THE Wall Street JOURNAL, 5/21/17

“There’s a real fiction in our national narrative that the Republican Party has the corner on the market on patriotism,” said Chrissy Houlahan, a former Air Force captain who is challenging GOP Rep. Ryan Costello in a suburban Philadelphia district that Hillary Clinton carried in November.


Reading Eagle, 4/11/17

READING, PA - Chrissy Houlahan said public service has been a driving force in her career to this point.

She has served in the Air Force, she has been involved with Teach For America and she has worked as an executive for a nonprofit literacy organization. But now she's ready to try something new, she said.

The Chester County Democrat announced today that she's running for a seat in Congress.

Chrissy Houlahan Democrat fro Congress
Chrissy is a woman who gets things done. Our small company, AND 1, grew from $5 million in revenues to over $250 million largely because of her creativeness and commitment to her team. She is a great business leader.
— Seth Berger, CEO And 1 Basketball
As a fierce advocate for high quality jobs with dignity and responsible stewardship of the community and the environment, Chrissy is a compassionate entrepreneur who uses her business acumen as a force for good.
— Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-Founder B Lab
Chrissy is a tireless advocate for giving low-income students access to the educational opportunities all children deserve. By combining her experience in the boardroom and the classroom, Chrissy is uniquely positioned to make lasting impact.
— Alejandro Gac-Artigas, Founder/CEO Springboard Collaborative