May 9, 2021

RESULTS: First-term Democratic Rep. Susan Wild faces Republican Lisa Scheller in Pennsylvanias 7th Congressional District

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First-term Democratic Rep. Susan Wild looks to defend her seat against Republican challenger Lisa Scheller in Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District.

The candidates

Wild, the incumbent, is currently the only Jewish Pennsylvanian to hold federal office and the first woman to represent Lehigh Valley. She currently sits on the House committees on Foreign Affairs, Ethics, and Education and the Workplace. Wild holds endorsements from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the End Citizens United PAC, and The Humane Society.

Scheller, Wild’s challenger, is the current chairman of Silberline Manufacturing Co., an aluminum paint pigment manufacturer founded by her grandparents. After opening up about her past experiences with drug and alcohol addiction, she spearheaded the creation of Hope & Coffee, a restaurant and coffee shop free from drugs and alcohol which provides support groups for young audiences with a history of substance abuse. 

Scheller’s campaign is centered on combatting opioid addiction, working with the US budget, ending sanctuary city funding, and fighting against the proposed Green New Deal resolution.

A recent independent poll conducted by Muhlenberg College found Wild leading Scheller by 13 points, 52% to 39%, among likely voters. 

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The district

Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District is located on the state’s eastern edge. The district is home to all of Lehigh and Northampton counties and a portion of Monroe County. The state’s congressional map was re-drawn in January 2019 after the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that its previous form was overtly gerrymandered.

The new boundaries of the 7th District made it significantly more friendly to Democrats. Former President Barack Obama would have carried the district, under its new lines, by seven percentage points in 2012 and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would have carried it by one point, according to the Daily Kos. 

The money race

According to the Federal Elections Commission, Wild has received $4.2 million in campaign contributions compared to $3.6 million for Scheller, $2.4 million of which she’s lent to her own campaign, Federal Election Commission filings show. Wild currently has around $758,000 in cash on hand compared to around $475,000 for Scheller.

What some of the experts say

The race between Wild and Scheller is rated as “likely Democratic” by The Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics and “safe Democratic” by Inside Elections.

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