Allen Issa, a Penn State law student and former congressional aide, has become the latest addition to the pool of contenders in the 2024 Republican primary in hopes to unseat Democratic incumbent Rep. Susan Wild in the 7th Congressional District.
The 25-year-old Issa says he is joining the race because “Congress is broken. Progress is stagnated. It’s time for a new vision and energy. We need public servants who are laser focused on improving and protecting the quality of life of those they serve – making life more affordable, creating good local jobs and career opportunities, and protecting the freedoms that are critical to every American.”
Born and raised in California, Issa says his father immigrated from Syria to the Lehigh Valley and worked for Bethlehem Steel before relocating to the west coast. He added he was named after the city of Allentown.
“Allentown is where the American Dream began for my family – where we learned the core Lehigh Valley values of hard work and service to community. Values which were instilled in me, and which I still live by everyday.”
A graduate of UC Riverside with a degree in physics, Issa spent a summer working as an aide for Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) — no relation — and said he “fell in love” with policy work.
He focused his work on the crisis in Ukraine and Afghanistan, working with the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Internet, and Courts.
“I’ve worked hard to gain the experience needed to do this important job,” he said in his. Now I’m ready to use my experience to give back to the people who gave so much to my family. I am dedicated to upholding the values of integrity, public service, and common-sense bipartisan cooperation to solve the pressing issues facing our neighborhoods and families today,” Issa said.
In the Republican primary, Issa will face state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie; Kevin Dellicker, an intelligence officer in the Air Force Reserve; and Maria Montero, who served in former Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration. The winner of the GOP primary will likely face three-term Wild, who has not drawn any Democratic challengers to date.
PA-07, which covers all of Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton counties and a sliver of Monroe County, is regarded as one of America’s most contested congressional districts.