House candidate Chrissy Houlahan campaigns in the Pennsylvania primary
House candidate Chrissy Houlahan campaigns in the Pennsylvania primary. (Credit: Chrissy Houlahan Facebook page)

Editor’s Note: This story is part of our Running Women project following 15 compelling women candidates in 2018.

It’s official. After winning Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary, Chrissy Houlahan is the Democratic Party’s nominee to represent state’s 6th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, taking her one big step closer to breaking into the state’s all-male congressional delegation.

“It is clear that families here are looking for a change in Congress,” Houlahan said in a statement on Facebook. “I look forward to a spirited general election campaign, and if elected, will bring my experience to Congress to create good jobs, expand access and affordability to healthcare, improve and strengthen education, fight for veterans and hold this administration accountable.”

Houlahan, a newcomer to politics, driven by consternation about the election of President Donald Trump, was unopposed in the Democratic primary, after challenger Elizabeth Moro dropped out two months ago. She will now face Republican attorney Greg McCauley in November’s general election.

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court redrew the state’s congressional map in February, altering the 6th District in a way seen as favoring the Democrats. Then, Republican incumbent Ryan Costello dropped out of the race in March, leaving his party with only one candidate: McCauley. Houlahan is the favorite to win in November due to both factors: The new Pennsylvania electoral map favors Democrats, and the Republicans had no time to find a strong replacement for Costello.

The district was labeled as “likely Democratic” by the Cook Political Report. In a large state with no female representatives in its 20-member delegation in the House and Senate, Houlahan’s win, one of seven for women running for the House from Pennsylvania, is an important milestone for the state. Flipping this seat to the Democrats is also seen as vital to the Democratic Party’s effort to win back control of Congress from the Republicans.