Susan Wild poses with supporters on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, at Coca Cola Park in Allentown, PA, after winning a congressional seat in the state's 7th District. Wild was sworn in to the 116th U.S. Congress on Thursday. (Courtesy of Chloe Hoffnagle)

Susan Wild sworn into U.S. House again

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When the 116th United States Congress convened Thursday on Capitol Hill, the Lehigh Valley’s first ever woman to represent the 7th District of Pennsylvania took the oath of office to serve her two-year term.

As Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, Susan Wild (D) will be the first Democrat to represent the region since 1999, following Rep. Charlie Dent’s retirement in May 2018. Wild defeated Marty Nothstein (R) in the November midterms, winning 58 percent of the vote, according to lehighvalleylive.com.  

But the former Allentown solicitor had the advantage of starting her tenure early, having been sworn in to the 115th Congress on Nov. 27 after narrowly winning a special election against Nothstein to fill the remainder of Dent’s term.

But the special election victory was through the old 15th District, previously occupied by Dent. The larger victory to send Wild to the 116th Congress for the full two years was through the constituency of the newly-made 7th District, after Pennsylvania changed the state’s district lines to resolve a gerrymandering case. The new 7th District includes all of Lehigh and Northampton counties, as well as parts of southern Monroe County.  

Although Wild was serving the 15th District since Nov. 27, she now sits in Washington on behalf of 7th District voters.

Wild cast herself as a progressive candidate, identifying herself as pro-choice who wants more action on gun control, equal rights for LGBTQ individuals and supports legislation to give legal protections to so-called DREAMers, which are individuals brought into America illegally at a young age.

In a ceremonial day showcasing humility and rare bipartisanship, Wild today voted in favor of Nancy Pelosi to become Speaker of the House. Some other notable moments of Wild’s short time in Washington include voting for the bipartisan FIRST STEP Act in December, which was signed into law by President Trump, and sponsoring her first bill to continue to appropriate money for the Coast Guard during the partial government shutdown.

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2 Comments

  1. Wilde is a typical left wing ideologue attorney who is essentially a Bernie Sanders socialist. She does not represent the voters of the Lehigh Valley & Charlie Dent sold out the Republican Party to get this end result because of his distaste for Donald Trump.

    So what has Trump accomplished in his first year. He cut taxes by $1000-2000/year for the average middle class taxpayer. He increased taxes on the wealthy corporate executives by restricting their deductions of state & Local Taxes. He diffused a time bomb with North Korea. He fixed the NAFTA agreement to bring more jobs back to the US. He removed thousands of bureaucratic regulations that has unleashed capital investment to create the lowest unemployment since the Vietnam war years. He is attempting to control illegal immigration & drug & human trafficking at our Sourhern border. Wilde will not support that effort hurting more American families.

  2. Amy Charles ‘89 on

    I wonder what it would do to Lehigh’s recruitment of international students if all the xenophobic alumni comments published happily by B&W were to show up in college-search sites abroad. It appears that 1100 international students go to Lehigh, which is a pretty sizeable chunk of the student population, representing around a hundred million dollars in revenue each year. And I think that if I were such a student, or the parent of such a student, I would like to know about this before I parted with my two hundred and eighty thousand or so dollarinos. Because possibly there are other second-tier American universities with less xenophobic alumni, not to mention campus organizations that do not care to traffic in xenophobia. Why B&W keeps on publishing them, I don’t know; it’s done stories on the effects on students of the Trump tinymindedness and loathing of non-white immigrants and non-Nordic countries. The staff and advisor are aware of what it’s done. And yet, week after week, we still get this on B&W’s website.

    I imagine there’s some notion of speech freedoms in play here, but I’m also pretty sure that if someone went on a racist rant full of Freedom-Summer level of invective, that would find itself moderated away (just as it would at the Times, WaPo, or Guardian). The difference here, I’m guessing, is that B&W staff have so internalized and normalized xenophobia that they regard it as normal and acceptable, rather than equally horrific and socially destructive. (Is there no longer a History department at Lehigh?) That internalization would be bad in any abstract sense, but in immediate practical terms, it’s another thing I’d like to know about if I were a parent in, say, Sri Lanka considering where to send my kid to school in America. Why would I send my child off to school with cheery fresh-faced American students who shrug and say that these sentiments are perfectly good company? I can’t see how it would be helpful, not when I could send the same kid to school in, I don’t know, Montréal or London or anyplace else in the world.

    Matt, would you care to comment?

    Separate matter: it’s been years now, and I’ve yet to see an entire paragraph from a Trump supporter that isn’t riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. The consistency is remarkable, but I don’t understand it. Is it in homage to him? A kind of uniform, like polos and khakis? Or is it just that the entire set of Trump supporters really struggles with writing?

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