Houlahan scores major endorsements in Pa. congressional primary

Chrissy Houlahan, woman pictured in black and white

Chrissy Houlahan (photo via Chrissy Houlahan campaign website)

Democrat Chrissy Houlahan has gotten some early backing in her bid for a congressional seat in the western suburbs of Philadelphia.

Houlahan hopes to take on incumbent Republican Ryan Costello in the 6th Congressional District, which includes parts of Chester, Montgomery, Berks and Lebanon counties.

Tuesday, she will get the support of three Pennsylvania Democratic Congressmen — Brendan Boyle and Dwight Evans, who both represent parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County; and Matt Cartwright, who represents the 17th, an oddly-shaped district which stretches from Scranton to near Bethlehem.

Even the primary election isn’t until next year, so it’s early to be touting endorsements. These are aimed at Houlahan’s Democratic rivals, an indication that the party establishment is with her.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

National Democrats have signaled their affection for Houlahan for months, pointing to — among other things — her background. She was a captain in the Air Force, and she has experience in running small businesses and nonprofits.

“What I think people are looking for in a congressperson and a leader is somebody who has all that real-world experience and can speak to the business and security issues, but also the social issues, that are so important to all of us,” Houlahan said in a phone interview.

Houlahan, a Devon resident, also has the support of the feminist group Emily’s List.

She said she was delighted to get the endorsements.

“These guys are, frankly, the kind of guys I would very much like to serve with,” Houlahan said. “They are proximate to my community as well, so they share some of the same issues that I do — and these were the three that I felt were most important for me to secure in terms of their endorsement.”

Businessman Robert Dettore is also an announced candidate for the Democratic primary and other challengers may emerge.

Costello was first elected in 2014.  Before that he served as a Chester County commissioner.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal