Business Executive and Veteran Looks to Challenge Costello

Chrissy HoulihanDemocrat Chrissy Houlahan announced she is joining the race to challenge Congressman Ryan Costello (R-Chester) in 2018.  

“My service did not stop when I left the Armed Forces, and that is why today I announce that I am running to represent the voters of Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District,” Houlahan said in a release announcing her candidacy.

Houlahan has an engineering degree from Stanford University and a master’s degree in technology and policy from MIT.  She joined the Air Force as an officer, and moved to the private sector after leaving the Air Force.  

Houlahan has served as COO for several for profit companies and other non-profit organizations.  Most recently she was the President and COO/CFO for Springboard Collaborative a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that worked towards improving early childhood literacy in inner city schools across the country.  

The sense from national Democrats is that Houlahan will be their candidate, especially with her resume as a female veteran and business executive.  Houlahan joins two other Democrat veterans to challenge incumbent Republicans in 2018.  

Houlahan lives in Devon with her husband Bart.  

Clinton won the 6th district by 0.6 percent, but Costello defeated Democrat Michael Parrish by 16 points in 2016.  

“Congressman Costello remains focused on working hard for his constituents. He welcomes and applauds anyone who enters into the democratic process,” Vincent Galko, a Senior Adviser to Costello’s campaign said in an email.

April 12th, 2017 | Posted in Congress, Front Page Stories | 62 Comments

62 thoughts on “Business Executive and Veteran Looks to Challenge Costello”

  1. Berks citizen says:

    Met Chrissy a week ago and was floored by her intelligence, experience and ability to sum up quickly why she is running and why she is the best choice to represent us. These are precarious times and our reps are making extremely important decisions. Drop the partisanship, we need people like her in office!

  2. contactsport says:

    Costello told a group of Republicans that he needed to campaign and sound like a moderate, because he is in a swing district, but they shouldn’t worry, that he would vote the “right” way. Anyone listening to Costello would believe him to be a moderate, but the days of believing what we are being told are long gone.

    Costello’s voting record belies any claim to being a moderate. The DNC doesn’t get to vote in the 6th district. The voters do, and they are so ready to vote for an authentic candidate, not one who hides behind a self described myth

  3. Debbie N says:

    Had the pleasure of meeting Chrissy at an event ast weekend. D6 is fortunate to have such a qualified candidate throwing her hat into the ring.

  4. Sherry says:

    Tired has nerve to bring a candidates wealth etc! Into it! What with Trumo in the White House! Just like he tries to make himself look like he’s for the working guy! So much BS actions speak louder than words . GOP is trying to push us back to the “50’s

  5. Downingtown Resident says:

    I thought Costello was a moderate, but one look at his voting record shows a very different story. Costello is Trump Jr. of Chester County. He says he wants to protect the environment but has voted against doing that so many times that conservation groups give him a failing grade. And his failure to give an answer about whether he would vote for the AHCA until after it was withdrawn shows he also has no guts, no backbone, and no concern for his constituents. This woman looks well qualified and promising. Looking forward to hearing more about her and the other candidates. Out with Costello!

  6. Margaret says:

    Chrissy has the education, intelligence and background to make a fantastic candidate!

  7. Veronica says:

    Looking forward to supporting this extremely well quailed candidate!

  8. KGP says:

    Finally, a candidate with guts. Bet she won’t have any trouble answering constituents’ questions at townhalls.

  9. Jo says:

    It’s hard to find anything good about Trump. But if there is one good thing, it’s getting intelligent, accomplished women to run for congress. The tide is going to turn and the women will lead the way.

  10. karen Breeding says:

    Houlahan brings a very impressive resume to the race for the 6th District. So exciting to see individuals of this caliber stepping up and running for office!

  11. Penelope says:

    I don’t get all this out of the box trashing from folks who put 45 in the White House. Is it because she served her country and did well in her life? Is it because we can’t accept a woman?

    Ryan Costello has demonstrated he will do as he is budden. He’s afraid to hold a real town hall and will cut healthcare without blinking.

  12. DMT says:

    Wow! Exciting candidate! Glad to have a good opponent entering the race.

  13. Laura says:

    Chrissy Houlahan has a varied and pertinent background and is intelligent, personable and sincere. Chrissy 2018!

  14. G. Martini says:

    This Independent voter will support Chrissy Houlahan over Costello any day of the week! No coattails to drag you across the finish line in 2018 Ry.

  15. Kathleen says:

    Good luck to Chrissy Houlahan – nice to see strong women running this next race. Looking forward to hearing more from her and other breaths of fresh air stepping up for 2018.

  16. Jodi Pollock says:

    Wow! Impressive! 6th District is lucky to have this candidate! Got any friends running in the 7th district?

  17. Emily M says:

    She seems like a really impressive candidate! Someone with a true backgound in science is exactly what Congress needs admid all the climate change deniers. I believe Veterans make excellent public officials because they truly understand the consequences of war. I look forward to hearing more!

  18. Kelly Dungee says:

    The comment above by “Tired” was hypocritical. He/she is likely one of the voters that put the mansion-living, made our millions on Wall Street, limousine conservative, spout the neo-con agenda of “we’re for the working guy” arsehole in the White House. Look in the mirror, pal.

    Rep. Costello votes with the GOP over 90% of the time. For the ACA Repeal, he only came out after the ACHA miserably failed, saying he wouldn’t have voted for it. His only town hall this year, conducted in the CC Courthouse last weekend, was able to accommodate 150 people, most of which were plants from the CC Republican Committee. He has not yet published the transcript of that event, nor made public any recording of the event. To be fair, Rep. Costello and his staff were personally helpful to me when I was trying to get VA benefits for my mother, but his recent actions have me looking elsewhere for someone to support.

    As for Ms. Houlahan, I look forward to hearing more about her platform and her approach. She seems a welcome alternative to the GOP rubber stamp we currently have representing us.

  19. Critical Thinker 10 says:

    Wow, the Republicans really showed their hand on this…and early too! Taking their strategy straight out of the Russian Trollbook, they are trashing this new candidate in the comments section, using innuendo, snark and “what I can assume” is total bull. They must feel she’s going to run circles around Costello, so they want to beat her down early. As a constituent, this garbage shows how shallow they are. If they could argue on the issues or Costello’s voting record, they would, but they can’t.

  20. Jill B says:

    This incredible candidate will do wonders for our district in representing constituents! Her gender is irrelevant, her income doesn’t immediately mean she cannot represent ‘regular’ folks. Her experience in business, non-profit & the armed forces are important, and the positions she has on the issues. Give her a chance.

  21. Alex says:

    Ironic that she is described by one poster as a mansion-living limousine liberal who spouts “we’re for the little guy” and by another as a corrupt millionaire who made millions profiting from child sweat shops who speaks out of both sides of her mouth. Have these people forgotten who they put in the White House?

  22. Looking Forward says:

    “Congressman Costello remains focused on working hard for his constituents.”

    That’s rich.

    Looking forward to representaion from someone who truely works for the constituants!

    Looking forward to learning more about Houlahan!

  23. Caroline says:

    A smart businesswoman with an impressive resume and military career is exactly what we need in Congress. I am excited about her candidacy and will be happy to support her campaign! Good luck, Chrissy Houlahan, and don’t listen to the naysayers.

  24. Patriotic and Independent says:

    At least we are getting a preview of the republican strategy against this patriotic Veteran who is a successful business woman. As usual, they go low.

    Which is I guess indicative of the candidates they support and elect. Why do they hate America so much?

  25. Logical Observer says:

    How scared republicans must be to go this negative this fast. And are they using paid trolls like their Russian friends? Good to know just how vulnerable and worried they are.

  26. Gina M. Delgadillo says:

    Houlahan has my vote. Kick Costello to the curb 🙂

  27. Sweet and Salty says:

    I just read a couple of articles about this woman and while I respect her military service, is she kidding? How can you be promoting ethical business practices when you and your family made millions running a company that profited off of, what I can assume, were child sweat shops? A millionaire for the working people of the 6th..that makes sense. This REEKS of McGinty. A hyper-partisan, single-payer loving, corrupt woman from the Mainline, who speaks out of both sides of her mouth. NOT WHAT WE NEED IN WASHINGTON. The only question is who will be the “Sestak” or Bernie Sanders who will get shunned for the Dem Party’s choice?

  28. Logical says:

    First of all, I don’t think this article was about a Costello roast session, this was about the Dem candidate. I feel it to be extremely awkward that she came out swinging with such nasty, hate filled remarks about the incumbent, when she announced. She seems like a very angry, nasty woman.

  29. Beth S says:

    I don’t understand the basis for all of the comments about Groen and the Democratic Committee. Houlahan announced her candidacy, not the democratic committee. They haven’t endorsed anyone. Where do the comments about fundraising come from – because she lives in Devon? Come on, can we judge the candidate on her own qualifications and abilities, and not arrogant assumption? Troll bashing any democratic candidates because of party affiliation is transparent and apathetic.

  30. Sheila E Vaccaro says:

    Inspirational! A civil servant, a business person, a history in for profit and non-profits; I want more! I first heard her name at a neighbors house who seemed hesitant to ask for my support, but after reading some of her resume, I am hard pressed not to jump in head first!

  31. Cheryl says:

    Yeah, that 14 point margin was LAST YEAR. This year Costello has proven to be a party-liner and Trump supporter, voting for everything his constituents are against. Oh, and let’s not forget he’s afraid of meeting with his constituents, and limiting the ones he will meet with. It’s time to show we care about his voting record.

  32. Independent voter says:

    Stanford, MIT, armed forces service, experience in both for profit and non profit sectors – yeah, she sounds terrible. I can’t understand all the comments about her being wealthy and unrelatable – have you seen who is in the White House? At least she has some actual experience getting her hands dirty working to help those less fortunate. Can’t wait to hear more from her and learn about her policy views.

  33. Marie says:

    I look forward to hearing more about Ms. Houlahan’s candidacy. While Costello talks independent, his voting record shows differently. Ms.Houlahan seems like a welcome alternative.

  34. Still a Patriot says:

    Wow, nasty, petty and misogynistic. This is what American politics has become thanks to the cons. It is all they have.

    Misinformation campaigns because they can’t win on policy. Gerrymandering because they can’t win a fair election.
    Voter suppression because their policies hurt most people.
    Dark money because even their supporters are too embarrassed to put their real names behind it.

    And look at how quickly they drop the pretense of patriotism when they simply don’t like the party affiliation.

    Attacking the entire Democratic Party when we know the only way the GoP won was with the help of Russian hackers and paid liars. They didn’t care that they put a actual con artist into the Oval, for them, it was all about “deconstructing” the American Dream and way of life so they can payoff their dark money bosses.

    Bravo, the contempt the Republican Party has for the American people is very clear. We now have the “best” government their oligarchs could buy.

    Let’s just hope voters really have finally seen the reality show con for what it is and we can get back to government for, by and of the people.

  35. Judy says:

    Wonderful resume, best of luck! Love seeing more women running for offices, both sides.

  36. Melissa says:

    She looks like a wonderfully well-rounded candidate. Costello is not working for his constituents but could easily fool those not paying close attention. His rhetoric does not match his actions in DC. Also, we could use some higher IQ peeps in DC about now. 45 is dragging the average down hard!

  37. Maria says:

    Isn’t it about time that all voters give candidates a chance to share their views and intentions than denigrating them out of the gate because of party? PA needs to find a way to come together regardless of party. It should be about qualifications, ability and views rather than hate mongering. Give Ms. Houlihan a chance. She deserves to be heard since she served our country already.

  38. Paula says:

    I am so proud to support a strong ethical candidate, who is already causing the Republican Party to take notice and spew their lies and fear. Keep going Chrissy Houlahan! It’s time for the old boys party to realize they are dinosaurs, and due for extinction!

  39. Drexelgrad says:

    Love seeing female veterans who know what service to our country means. And a Stanford University graduate in Techmology is impressive.

  40. Isaac L. says:

    That’s quite a resume. I would love to see more Democratic veterans run. Speaking of, please note the “-ic” there in “Democratic”, Mr. Engelkeimer. This is supposed to be a news site, not a partisan rag, and you’ll need to unlearn some bad habits you picked up writing for a primarily Republican audience where the “Democrat Party” slur was de rigueur.

  41. Shelly says:

    Costello has set the bar pretty low. Any challenger is a breath of fresh air. A challenger with experience in the military and non profits that benefit teachers and students is a bonus.

  42. Critical Thinker 10 says:

    From the numerous comments so far, it appears that Republicans see her as a real threat. Nothing is so scary as a strong, capable woman.

  43. KSDF says:

    “Business Executive and Veteran Looks to Challenge Costello”

    Is this article recycled from the Parrish announcement?

  44. Tired says:

    WOW! It’s going to be funny to see this Main Line mansion-living, made our millions on Wall Street, limousine liberal spout the DCCC “we’re for the working guy” talking points until next November. She might play in the Main Line suburbs of Chester County and parts of Montgomery County, but can you see this in Berks? Lebanon? Even western Montgomery? Even worse, that swing area is Costello’s strength as a candidate; he buried his opponent there last year, the people know him, and he has remained independent enough to still appeal. I really like how – after they made their millions on Wall Street – she and her husband became leaders for “ethical businesses.” Of course, they cashed out on those too. How can DCCC think a 1/2%er plays with their base?

  45. Guest says:

    I dont understand the DCCC. Their thinking basically seems to be “if you’re a capable fundraiser, we’ll go further and help you out more.” Shouldn’t they rather focus on decent candidates who might need more help in raising money?

  46. gulag Pittsburgh says:

    Lt. Houlahan will get the MASH vote.

  47. David Diano says:

    The criteria for DCCC, Marcel, and other “establishment thinkers” is how much money the candidate has in the bank that they can divert into the coffers of their friends and cronies.

    Let’s not forget, that Marcel backed Golderer and tried to interfere with the Montco Dem primary convention voting process, to the point that a secret ballot was required due to his intimidation of committee members.

    How did Golderer do in the primary? Oh, yeah, he lost by a record setting 50 points.

    How did Hillary do in the general election under Marcel’s “leadership”? Oh, yeah, we lost PA for the first time in over 20 years.

    I think I see a pattern.

  48. Observer says:

    Also, I was pretty sure Costello ran unopposed last year – didn’t he?

  49. Observer says:

    They could not possibly let the district’s voter choose among the two, right? Nah… Marcel Groen, Loser in Chief, has to stick his nose where it doesn’t belong. And watch, Emily’s List, NARAL, et al will jump in solely because she is a woman – and we KNOW how much their support leads to wins… right? Right? #DemExit

  50. PacMan says:

    “The sense from national Democrats is that Houlahan will be their candidate….”

    Because the national Democrats have such a wonderful track record with picking winners in PA coughcoughcoughmcgintycoughcough…..

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