Although the state’s 2021 primary took place only one month ago, Pennsylvania Republicans are already rallying behind this congressional hopeful’s 2022 bid in the Lehigh Valley.
Lisa Scheller, a former Lehigh County Commissioner and businesswoman who lost to Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) by just under 4 points in 2020 for Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, announced on Tuesday afternoon that she has been endorsed by eight of the nine members of the state GOP’s congressional delegation for her 2022 campaign.
Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks), John Joyce (R-Blair), Fred Keller (R-Snyder), Dan Meuser (R-Luzerne), Guy Reschenthaler (R-Washington), Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster), and G.T. Thompson (R-Centre) are backing Scheller’s campaign next year.
“I am extremely excited to release this first round of endorsements for our campaign to deliver true leadership to Pennsylvania’s 7th district,” Scheller said. “I am humbled by the support that the campaign has already received.”
“No other candidate will work harder for the people of Pennsylvania than Lisa Scheller, which is why I am proud to endorse her candidacy for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 7th District”, said Thompson. “Lisa is a fighter for our Pennsylvania values and knows what it takes to bring people to the table and deliver results.”
“We need leaders like Lisa Scheller in Congress to help push back against the disastrous policies being implemented by the current Congress and Administration,” said Reschenthaler. “Lisa’s record as a tax cutter and job creator proves that she will be the fighter that Pennsylvanian taxpayers deserve.”
Scheller added that these endorsements “will not be the last.”
PoliticsPA is seeking comment from Reps. Mike Kelly (R-Butler) and Scott Perry (R-York), who are the two members of the state’s congressional delegation not included in the endorsement rollout.
In January, Scheller filed paperwork to run for Congress in 2022 and is currently the lone Republican to file for the 7th Congressional District against Wild next election.
During Scheller’s 2020 bid for Congress, she secured the GOP nomination by defeating Dean Browning, a former Lehigh County Commissioner and businessman, by just over 4 points. Scheller was endorsed by President Donald Trump during the GOP primary for the 7th District.
The 2020 race between Scheller and Wild was an expensive one and the first finance report of 2021 indicates the Lehigh Valley may be in for another high-price showdown.
Scheller’s campaign raised just under $650,000 from the beginning of 2021 to the end of March, while spending slightly under $55,000 during that time period. While the nearly $650,000 is the largest of any congressional candidate in the state for the 1st quarter, $500,000 of it was from a loan that Scheller gave to her campaign. She entered April with just under $675,000 cash on hand.
According to the post-general election 2020 FEC filing, Wild raised $4.65 million during the previous election cycle. Scheller raised $3.73 million during the previous election cycle, with $2.45 million of it being from loans she gave to her campaign.
After Wild was declared the winner of the race in 2020, Scheller didn’t immediately concede, saying in a statement that “every legal vote matters, and every legal vote must be verified.”
Wild and Joe Biden carried the 7th Congressional District by similar margins. Wild won by just under 4 points, while Biden bested Donald Trump by just under 5 points, according to Daily Kos.
Wild is one of three Democrats in the state targeted by the NRCC to flip in 2022, along with Reps. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) and Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny).
However, Pennsylvania is slated to lose a seat after redistricting, making it difficult for any challenger and incumbent to accurately size up their 2022 prospects.
Although Scheller filed paperwork to run for the seat in January, her campaign kickoff event is slated to take place on June 30.
This story was updated to note that Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Butler) has not endorsed a candidate in the race.