Susan Wild
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Susan Wild

Susan Wild
Susan Wild, Official Portrait, 115th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 7th district

January 3, 2019 (2019-01-03)
Charlie Dent
Personal details
Susan Ellis

(1957-06-07) June 7, 1957 (age 63)
Wiesbaden Air Force Base, West Germany
Political partyDemocratic
Russell Wild
(m. 1981; div. 2002)

Kerry Acker
(m. 2003; died 2019)
EducationAmerican University (BA)
George Washington University (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Susan Ellis Wild (born June 7, 1957) is an American attorney and politician from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A Democrat, she is a member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district. The district is located in the heart of the Lehigh Valley, and includes Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton. She spent the last two months of 2018 as the member for Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district after Charlie Dent resigned in 2018.

Early life and career

Wild is the daughter of Norman Leith and Susan Stimus Ellis.[1] Wild's mother was a journalist. Her father served in the United States Air Force during World War II and the Korean War. She was born in Wiesbaden Air Force Base, West Germany, while her father was stationed there. She also lived in France, California, New Mexico, and Washington D.C.[2]

Wild volunteered on Jimmy Carter's 1976 presidential campaign.[2] She graduated from American University in 1978.[3] She earned her Juris Doctor at the George Washington University Law School in 1982.[4] She studied under John Banzhaf.[2] Wild became a partner at the law firm Gross McGinley in 1999.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives


2018 general election

Wild ran for Lehigh County Commissioner in 2013, but lost.[6] She was appointed the first female solicitor of Allentown, Pennsylvania in January 2015.[7] She served as Solicitor of Allentown from January 7, 2015, when she was confirmed by the Allentown City Council, until December 31, 2017, when she resigned from office to pursue her candidacy for the United States House of Representatives to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (R) in 2018.[8][9]

In the 2018 elections, Wild ran for the United States House of Representatives in Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district. That district had previously been the 15th, represented by seven-term Republican Charlie Dent. She won the Democratic Party primary election and faced Republican Lehigh County commissioner Marty Nothstein in the November 6 general election.[10][11] She defeated Nothstein in the general election.[12] When the final precincts were counted, Wild received 53.4% of the vote.[13]

2018 special election

On the same day, Wild also ran in a separate special congressional election for the balance of Dent's term; he had resigned in May after announcing the previous fall that he would not run for reelection.[14][15] On November 15, 2018, it was announced that Wild had won the 15th congressional district's special election, receiving 130,353 votes to Nothstein's 129,593 votes.[16][17]

The closer margin in the special election came because it was run under the old lines that had been thrown out by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in February 2018. The old 15th had stretched from the Lehigh Valley into heavily Republican territory between Lebanon and Harrisburg, by way of a tendril in Berks County. The new 7th is a somewhat more compact district centered in the Lehigh Valley, and includes a sliver of the Poconos.


Upon taking office, Wild became the first Democrat to represent the Lehigh Valley since 1999. She had two months' more seniority than the rest of the large Democratic freshman class of 2018. She was one of four Democratic women elected from Pennsylvania in 2018. The others were Mary Gay Scanlon, Madeleine Dean and Chrissy Houlahan. The state's congressional delegation had previously been all male.[]

Wild has been critical of Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro, a regular target of such left-leaning publications such as Vox for views characterized as 'far-right', 'misogynistic', 'homophobic' and 'anti-immigrant'. In March 2019, Wild and 29 other Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The letter read in part, "Since the election of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro as president, we have been particularly alarmed by the threat Bolsonaro's agenda poses to the LGBTQ+ community and other minority communities, women, labor activists, and political dissidents in Brazil. We are deeply concerned that, by targeting hard-won political and social rights, Bolsonaro is endangering Brazil's long-term democratic future."[18]

Donald Trump impeachment

On December 10, 2019, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee advanced two articles of impeachment against Republican President Donald Trump. On December 18, 2019, Wild voted 'Yes' on the first article of impeachment, "abuse of power", and 'Yes' on the second article of impeachment, "obstruction of Congress".[19]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

  • New Democrat Coalition
    • Climate Change Task Force(Co-Chair)
  • Servicewomen and Women Veterans Congressional Caucus
  • House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition
  • Bipartisan Heroin and Opioid Task Force
  • Freshman Working Group on Addiction
  • Blue Collar Caucus
  • Congressional Labor and Working Families Caucus
  • Middle Class Jobs Caucus
  • Congressional Homelessness Caucus
  • Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth
  • Bipartisan Task Force for Combatting Anti-Semitism
  • Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus
  • Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care
  • Black Maternal Health Caucus
  • Congressional Baby Caucus
  • House Nursing Caucus
  • Congressional Autism Caucus
  • Congressional Diabetes Caucus
  • Congressional Native American Caucus
  • National Heritage Area Caucus
  • Congressional Animal Protection Caucus
  • Congressional Ukrainian Caucus
  • Congressional Hellenic-Israel Alliance (CHIA) Caucus
  • Congressional Humanities Caucus
  • Bipartisan Public Broadcasting Caucus
  • House Small Brewers Caucus
  • Congressional Candy Caucus
  • Congressional Freethought Caucus

Electoral history

Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Susan Wild 15,001 33.3
Democratic John Morganelli 13,565 30.1
Democratic Greg Edwards 11,510 25.6
Democratic Roger Ruggles 2,443 5.4
Democratic Rick Daugherty 1,718 3.8
Democratic David Clark 766 1.7
Total votes 45,003 100.0
Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Susan Wild 140,813 53.5
Republican Marty Nothstein 114,437 43.5
Libertarian Tim Silfies 8,011 3.0
Total votes 263,261 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican
Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district, 2018 (special)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Susan Wild 130,353 48.54% +10.52%
Republican Marty Nothstein 129,594 48.26% -10.13%
Libertarian Tim Silfies 8,579 3.19% -0.40%
Total votes '268,526' '100.0%' N/A
Democratic gain from Republican

Personal life

Wild and her husband, Russell Wild, divorced in 2003 after 22 years of marriage. They have two adult children, Clay and Adrienne. Following her divorce, Wild reunited with her law school boyfriend, Kerry Acker, who remained her life partner until his death on May 25, 2019. She lives in South Whitehall Township, west of Allentown.[2] She is Jewish.[21]

See also


  1. ^ "Susan Stimus Ellis". Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Five things you probably don't know about the Lehigh Valley's first congresswoman - The Morning Call". Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ Veitch, Abbie (February 21, 2018). "Alumna Susan Wild runs for Pennsylvania congressional seat". Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Baskerville, Jessica (March 5, 2018). "Inspired by her classes, law school alumna runs for House seat - The GW Hatchet". Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Allentown solicitor plans congressional bid in 15th District - The Morning Call". November 2, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ "Susan Ellis Wild to serve as Allentown's next solicitor - The Morning Call". November 2, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ "Allentown solicitor plans congressional bid in 15th District - The Morning Call". October 2, 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ Sieger, Edward (January 8, 2015). "Allentown City Council appoints new city solicitor". The Express-Times. Archived from the original on May 19, 2015. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ Opilo, Emily (November 22, 2017). "Allentown Solicitor Susan Wild resigning as congressional campaign heats up". The Morning Call. Archived from the original on March 13, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ "How Susan Wild went from a relative unknown to PA-7 primary winner - The Morning Call". Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ "Susan Wild claims Lehigh Valley's Democratic primary for Congress". May 15, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ Ellis, Niv (November 7, 2018). "Democrat Susan Wild wins House race in Pennsylvania". The Hill.
  13. ^ "Pennsylvania Election Results: Seventh House District - Election Results 2018 - The New York Times". November 6, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ "Marty Nothstein leads in race to finish Charlie Dent's term - The Morning Call". November 2, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ "15th District candidates set for special 2018 election". July 31, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ "Susan Wild wins special congressional election to finish Charlie Dent's term - The Morning Call". Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ 69 News (June 23, 2016). "Susan Wild announces victory in 15th district special election". WFMZ. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ "Brazil's far-right president tweeted out a pornographic video to condemn Carnival". Vox. March 6, 2019.
  19. ^ "Here's how the House voted on Trump's impeachment". Politico. December 18, 2019.
  20. ^ Olson, Laura. "Susan Wild wins special congressional election to finish Charlie Dent's term". Retrieved 2019.
  21. ^ "Democrat Holds Slim Lead In Jew vs. Jew Race For Pennsylvania Swing Seat". Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved 2018.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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