Houlahan Rules Out Senate Run

After months of speculation, this Chester County Democrat announced that she won’t launch a campaign for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race in 2022. 

First reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester) announced on Tuesday that she will run for another term in the House, instead of joining the statewide race to succeed outgoing GOP Sen. Pat Toomey. 

“I have always challenged myself to try to find my ‘highest best use’ in service,” Houlahan said to the Inquirer. “I came to Washington to serve my community, Commonwealth and country at what I believe to be an existential inflection point for our nation. Over the past few months, I have considered whether that ‘highest best use’ should translate to a run for Senate. I have decided that my purpose in service at this time remains as the Congresswoman for the great people of Pennsylvania’s sixth Congressional district.” 

Houlahan, who was first elected to the House in 2018, was openly considering a run for U.S. Senate for months. 

She raised over $580,000 in 2021’s first quarter, which is more than any other congressional incumbent in the state and entered April with $3.5 million cash on hand, which continued to fuel the speculation about a potential statewide candidacy.

The National Republican Campaign Committee also named her as one of the four Pennsylvania Democrats to their “exit list” when she was considering a run and made her a late addition to the 2022 target list

Although Houlahan won her reelection bid in 2020 by 12 points over GOP challenger John Emmons in a district that Joe Biden bested Donald Trump by 15 points, according to Daily Kos, her House reelection bid in 2022 may garner more attention from Republicans due to upcoming redistricting.

“As we look towards redistricting and the 2022 races, it is crucial not only that Democrats retain control of the House but that we also succeed in expanding our majority in the Senate,” Houlahan said to the Inquirer. “I will do everything I can to make sure Pennsylvania proudly sends two Democrats to the Senate.”

Houlahan is the latest House incumbent to rule out a run for U.S. Senate. 

In April, Congressman Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia) announced that he wouldn’t seek the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. Senate in 2022, while Congresswoman Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) announced in May she also wouldn’t launch a bid for the statewide office. 

While Houlahan has ruled out a run for U.S. Senate in 2022, several Democrats have already formally launched campaigns. 

Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia), former Norristown Borough Council President John McGuigan, and Dr. Kevin Baumlin have all launched their campaigns for Senate. State Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission for U.S. Senate and formally announced his exploratory committee in April. 

According to the FEC website, Brandaun Dean, Larry Johnson, Alexandria Khalil, Kyle Norton, and Alan Shank have also filed statements of candidacy for the Democratic primary. 

Several other Democrats are reportedly weighing a run for the office as well. 

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, other potential Democratic candidates include Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) and Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny).

9 Responses

  1. Let’s be honest, this is likely about her connections to China and the forced labor that occurred at AND1 during her time with the company. Not sure how she can petition for a $15/hr minimum wage if she paid her Chinese sweatshop workers $.35/hr….

    1. Or, maybe its about being in a seat the dems want to hold when the party in power tends to lose it in congress with a same party President. Maybe it has to do with Nancy Pelosi asking her to stay where she is and has nothing to do with China – since no one seems to care about fair wages, human rights, and national security when it comes to China.

  2. I knew I knew who she was. She played little orphan Annie 30 years ago on Broadway.

  3. No surprise here. She had no chance of winning statewide. She will see a new map this time and may lose if faced with a serious challenger (she hasn’t had one to date and was previously drawn into a safe seat by the Supreme Court maps). She is just trying to hang on at this point.

    1. What are you talking about? Her district isn’t trending away from her and neither is the region.

  4. Smart move. Fetterman is raising money too quickly to be successfully challenged.

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