Reading Eagle, 4/11/17 - Democrat announces bid for 6th District
Democrat announces bid for 6th District
By Karen Shuey
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.
She is seeking the Democratic nod to represent the 6th Congressional District, which includes parts of Berks, Chester, Lebanon and Montgomery counties. The post is currently held by Chester County Republican Ryan Costello.
"I feel it is important that a person like me with real world experience have the opportunity to represent the people in this district when it comes to the issues we really care about in our communities," the 49-year-old said.
Houlahan said she is fed up with the way Congress is being run and is particularly frustrated with the way in which her district has been represented in Washington. She believes the district is much more moderate than Costello's voting record would suggest.
"He's effectively serving as a rubber stamp for the Trump administration," she said. "Ryan Costello serves in a district that is pretty purple and he has presented himself as being a pretty purple guy. But in reality, his voting record has been deeply red."
According to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight's data crunchers, Costello has voted in line with Trump's position nearly 96 percent of the time. Houlahan pointed out that Costello was one of only 23 Republican lawmakers who represent a district the president lost. While he defeated his opponent by more than 14 percentage points, Hillary Clinton won the race at the top of the ticket by a narrow margin.
The latest voter registration figures from the Pennsylvania Department of State show there are about 211,000 Republicans, 188,000 Democrats and 79,000 independents that make up the electorate of the district.
Houlahan said she can provide better leadership to the constituents of the 6th district. She said she would put her business background to use by working to create meaningful jobs, she would share what she has learned through Teach For America about preparing students today for the workforce of tomorrow and she would fight for more programs that help veterans transition back into civilian life.
"These are things I've spent my life working for so I think these are issues that are reflective of my values," she said.
Representatives in Congress serve two-year terms and are paid $174,000 a year.