Meet Your Newly Elected Members of Congress
By: Allison Coccia
The 2018 mid-term elections bore a different political landscape, new districts and a newly minted crop of US Congressmen and women. Eight new members have joined the Pennsylvania delegation. For the first time in Pennsylvania history, four of those new members are women. The Pennsylvania delegation is now evenly split with nine Democrats and nine Republicans in the eighteen member delegation. These members will have their work cut out for them as the next redistricting round occurs in 2022.
Just over one month into their new jobs, here is a quick look at the biographies of our new members.
4TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT – MADELINE DEAN
Counties: Berks (part); Montgomery (part)
Madeline Dean most recently served as State Representative of the 153rd District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, where she was elected in a Special Election in April of 2012. An attorney, Dean started her own firm and was a former Executive Director of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers, Dean also served as an Assistant Professor of English at La Salle University, her alma mater. As state representative, Dean focused on issues like education, environmental protection, and ending gun violence and addiction. She has also served as Abington Township Commissioner.
Dean briefly ran for Lieutenant Governor for the 2018 cycle, but bowed out when the newly-drawn congressional districts were released, to run for Congress.
5TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT – MARY GAY SCANLON
Counties: Chester (part); Delaware; Montgomery (part); Philadelphia (part)
Mary Gay Scanlon defeated 9 other candidates to become the Democratic nominee for this Congressional seat. She technically ran in two simultaneous elections, running to fill the vacancy formed by the retirement of former Congressman Pat Meehan in the 7th District and to represent the 5th Congressional district as sanctioned by the PA Supreme Court. The 7th District, as we knew it, ceased to exist at the turn of 2019.
Mary Gay Scanlon was a civil rights attorney for over 35 years. She most recently served as Ballard Spahr’s National Pro Bono Counsel winning the American Bar Association’s pro bono award in 2018 and served as Co Chairwoman of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Commission on Children at Risk and the Legal Rights of Children Committee. She has also served as President and Vice President of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School board.
Early in her career, Scanlon clerked for the Pennsylvania Superior Court and served as a senior staff attorney at the Education Law Center of Pennsylvania.
Scanlon has already joined the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force along with new members Congresswomen Madeline Dean and Susan Wild.
Scanlon touts her priorities in Congress as “voting rights, education, common sense gun safety legislation, and protecting the rights of children, families, veterans and our seniors.”
6TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT – CHRISTINA “CHRISSY” HOULAHAN
Counties: Berks (part); Chester (part)
Chrissy Houlahan has quite a diverse resume, graduating with a degree in Engineering from Stanford with a Masters in Technology and Policy from MIT. As a veteran, Houlahan served as a Captain in the US Airforce, COO of the small business AND1 Basketball, a chemistry teacher at Simon Gratz High School, Philadelphia, and served as COO of the non-profits B-Lab and Springboard Collaborative.
Upon her election to Congress, Houlahan campaigned for one of three co-chairmen spots on the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, a maneuver unheard of for a freshman. She was unsuccessful in that bid.
She lists her priorities as access to affordable healthcare for all, environmental protection and education to name a few.
7TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT – SUSAN WILD
Counties: Lehigh; Monroe (part); Northampton
An attorney, Susan Wild was appointed as the first female Solicitor in the City of Allentown in 2015. Wild resigned the post at the end of 2017 to run for Congress.
Wild ran unsuccessfully for Lehigh County Commissioner in 2013. She was elected President of the Lehigh County Bar Association in 2006.
Wild is the first Democrat to represent the Lehigh Valley since 1999.
9TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT – DAN MEUSER
Counties: Berks (part); Carbon; Columbia;Lebanon; Luzerne (part); Montour; Northumberland (part); Schuylkill
An executive, businessman and job-creator, Dan Meuser helped build his family business, Pride Mobility, a manufacturer of motorized wheelchairs, into an “industry leader.”
In 2011, Meuser served as Secretary of Revenue under Governor Tom Corbett. The “Council on State Taxation recognized Meuser for having the most dramatic improvement of any department of revenue in the country, going from a D rating to an A-.”
Meuser ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2008.
13TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT – DR. JOHN JOYCE
Counties: Adams; Bedford; Blair; Cambria (part); Cumberland (part); Franklin; Fulton; Huntingdon; Somerset; Westmoreland (part)
Dr. John Joyce defeated seven other candidates to become the Republican nominee for the 13th Congressional District.
Prior to his entry into public service, Dr. Joyce served Altoona, PA as a dermatologist for over 25 years, founding his own practice.
After completing his residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. Joyce worked with the United States Navy at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Virginia during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He received commendations from U.S. Navy Rear Admiral David B. LeStage for his work during this time.”
14TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT – GUY RESCHENTHALER
Counties: Fayette; Greene; Washington; Westmoreland (part)
An attorney, judge and veteran, Guy Reschenthaler also served as Senator of Pennsylvania’s 37th District since November of 2015.
After graduating from law school, Reschenthaler volunteered to be deployed to the Iraq War, to serve in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps. Reschenthaler prosecuted terrorists and represented Navy Seals.
In 2013, Reschenthaler was elected as Magisterial District Judge in Pittsburgh.
17TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT – CONOR LAMB
Counties: Allegheny (part); Beaver; Butler (part)
Congressman Conor Lamb was elected to the 18th Congressional District in a March 2018 Special Election to fill the seat vacated by former Congressman Tim Murphy. As a result of the PA Supreme Court’s decision to redraw the congressional maps, he faced Congressman Keith Rothfus in the 17th District Contest in the only incumbent head to head race in the country.
Conor Lamb most recently served as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Justice Department’s Pittsburgh office.
Lamb was a Captain in the US Marine Corp U.S. Marine Corps from 2009-2013 and continues to serve as a Major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves.
Lamb lists his priorities as affordable healthcare, fighting the opioid crisis, improving infrastructure, and modern energy developments.