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Chrissy Houlahan

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Chrissy Houlahan
Candidate for
U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District
Personal details
Born1967 (age 51–52)
EducationStanford University (B.S. Engineering)
MIT (M.S. Technology & Policy)
Military service
AllegianceUnited States
Branch/serviceUnited States Air Force
United States Air Force Reserve
Years of service3 years Active Duty, 13 years Reserve
RankCaptain, USAFR

Chrissy Houlahan (born 1968, Christina Jampoler) is a former United States Air Force Reserve Captain, engineer, entrepreneur, and politician. She is the 2018 Democratic nominee for U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District. Her opponent in the 2018 election is Greg McCauley (R).

Personal life and education[edit | edit source]

Houlahan spent her childhood on various U.S. naval bases across the country.[1] Her father, a naval aviator, had left Poland at age four to escape the Holocaust.[2][3]

Houlahan, citing her idols as Indiana Jones and Sally Ride,[4] earned her Bachelor's Degree in Engineering from Stanford University on an ROTC scholarship.[1] She then earned a Masters Degree in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).[1]

Career[edit | edit source]

After graduating from Stanford University, Houlahan spent 3 years on USAF active duty at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, MA. There she served as a project manager working on air and space defense technologies.[1] After leaving active duty for the Air Force Reserves, Houlahan went to work for the start-up sportswear company AND1 as Chief Operating Officer. As part of the employee benefits program the company offered 40 paid hours of community service at a location of the employee's choosing. Houlahan dedicated her hours to working with girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).[1] Houlahan became Chief Operating Officer of B-Lab, a non-profit start-up, when AND1 was sold.[3]

Citing a need to experience the problems in the U.S. educational system first-hand, Houlahan entered the lifelong learning program at University of Pennsylvania where she re-took courses in the hard sciences. She enrolled in the Teach for America program and began working as an 11th-grade science teacher at Simon Gratz High School in Philadelphia.[5] She withdrew from the Teach for America program after one year and joined Springboard Collaborative, a Philadelphia-based non-profit focusing on early childhood literacy in underserved populations nationwide. Houlahan served as both President and CFO/COO of Springboard Collaborative before leaving to focus on her political campaign.[3]

2018 U.S. House of Representatives candidacy[edit | edit source]

Houlahan is one of seven Pennsylvania women running for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018.[6] Whichever one wins will be the first woman to represent Pennsylvania in that body. Houlahan has said that one of the experiences that motivated her to run for Congress was her organization of a bus trip to the Women's March in Washington, D.C., on January 21, 2017.[3] When asked why she chose to begin her political career by running for Congress and not a lower office, she said, “I don’t have time for that. The stakes are too high, and I think I’m qualified."[7]

Running in Pennsylvania's 6th congressional district, Houlahan was uncontested in the Democratic primary and will face first-time candidate Greg McCauley in the general election, incumbent Ryan Costello (R) having withdrawn from the race.[8] PA-6 is one of the recently redistricted districts as a result of the January 2018 Pennsylvania Supreme Court gerrymandering ruling.[9]

Houlahan is running on a platform that includes healthcare, job creation, and campaign finance reform.[10] Other campaign issues she identifies include education, family issues, and veteran's issues.[11] Houlahan has a strong record of campaign fundraising[12], with donations totaling almost $3 million so far.[13][1] She is also endorsed by many organizations, including Emily's List,[14] Human Rights Campaign,[15] Giffords,[16] Project 100,[17] Vote Vets,[18] the Service Employees International Union-PA (SEIU PA)[19] and several other local unions.[18]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Houlahan lives in Devon, PA with her spouse of 27 years, Bart. They put on hold their goal of running a foot race in every state before age 50 when she entered the race for U.S. Representative.[11] The couple have two adult daughters.[5]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Mervis. "How a Pennsylvania industrial engineer became the odds-on favorite to win a seat in Congress". Science Magazine.
  2. "Inspired by Trump, These Jewish Women Have Decided to Run for Office". Haaretz.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Latimer. "Air Force vet challenges Rep. Ryan Costello". LD News.
  4. Cox. "SPACE THE NATION: CHRISSY HOULAHAN COULD HANDLE THE MILLENNIUM FALCON, NO PROBLEM". SyFy.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Searles & Richmond. "Angered by Trump's election, this Pennsylvania business leader and U.S. Navy veteran challenged an incumbent Republican for a seat in the U.S. House. Then he dropped out". The Story Exchange.
  6. Gabriel. "Pennsylvania Primaries Deliver Strong Wins for Democratic Women". New York Times.
  7. Mervis, Jeffrey. "How a Pennsylvania industrial engineer became the odds-on favorite to win a seat in Congress". Science. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  8. Prokop. "These 6 Pennsylvania Democratic nominees are key to the battle for House control". Vox.
  9. "Chrissy Houlahan". Ballotpedia.
  10. Sasko. "The No-B.S. Guide to Philadelphia-Area Women Running for Congress". Philly Magazine.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Rettew. "2 candidates announce bid for 6th District seat in Democratic primary". Daily Local.
  12. Cole. "Houlahan Raises $840K in Q2". Politics PA.
  13. "HOULAHAN, CHRISSY". Federal Election Commission.
  14. "EMILY'S LIST ENDORSES CHRISSY HOULAHAN FOR CONGRESS IN PENNSYLVANIA'S 6TH DISTRICT". Emily's List.
  15. Metzger. "Human Rights Campaign Endorses Chrissy Houlahan for Congress". HRC.org.
  16. "GIFFORDS ENDORSES CHRISSY HOULAHAN FOR CONGRESS IN PENNSYLVANIA". Giffords.
  17. "Chrissy Houlahan". Project 100.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Rellahan. "Casey endorses Houlahan in 6th Congressional Dist., Costello challenges map". Potts Mercury.
  19. "SEIU PA State Council Announces Endorsed Candidates for 2018 Primary Election". SEIU PA.


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