Running for office is no easy task. Political candidates work tirelessly along the campaign trail long before a ballot is cast.
They begin planning over a year before Election Day to raise funds and build a campaign team.
Candidates travel constantly to speak to voters, constituents, and donors. They organize and hold debates with rival candidates, while occasionally defending their reputation from opponents.
The trail can be an exhausting one, and by the end of it—as the ballots are counted and the results come in—candidates cringe in fear or rejoice the impending victory.
Democrat Susan Wild’s campaign work paid off. She celebrated on election night, and she’s now ready to begin serving Pennsylvanians as representative of the 7th Congressional District.
“After more than a year of being on the campaign trail, I am excited to get to work and start making things happen,” said Wild.
Despite no prior experience in politics, Wild served as the first female solicitor for the city of Allentown, PA.
She has lived in the Lehigh Valley for over 30 years, now represented under the 7th district.
“It was a long process to get here. I would not be here if it weren’t for the fact that I feel so strongly about bringing about change and doing good things for this district,” said Wild.
She would travel and meet with individuals and many organizations, such as the Human Rights Campaign, the Humane Society and EMILY’s List—all to gain support from people who shared her stance on issues facing Pennsylvanians.
“We drove around for hours to different events, meet and greets and talks with groups. There were also a lot of days where I would be studying and preparing for a debate,” said Wild, reminiscing after months on the campaign trail.
Not only did she win the 7th Congressional District, but she also won the 15th district in a special election, a district that has not had representation since U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent resigned. Wild will be sworn in to finish Dent’s term beginning Nov. 27.
“People in the 15th district have been without a congressman since May. There is certainly a backlog of problems and concerns that need to be dealt with right away. We’re very busy trying to get our new office opened and getting staff so people can start getting their problems addressed,” said Wild.
There are many issues and objectives that Wild wishes to address once she’s sworn in, but her first plan is simply to make friends.
“One of my first goals is simply to get to know the other members of Congress. I feel very strongly that the best way to move forward is to do it on a bipartisan basis. I would like to get to know Republicans, as well as I, know my Democratic colleagues.”
Befriending fellow congressmen and congresswomen may prove beneficial to Wild later in her career when both Democrats and Republicans must compromise to move legislation through Congress.
Aside from forming relationships with colleagues, one of Wild’s first goals is to help pass a bill that many politicians believe is a priority; that bill is H.R. 1.
“I would like to work on House Bill 1, which is campaign finance, reform ethics in government and voting rights. It’s incredibly important that we work on that as our first order of business.”
According to Wild, the bill will first provide a way for politicians, who don’t want to receive funds from corporations, to obtain funds through public financing.
This public financing method would double or triple donations from individual donors to politicians.
Secondly, the bill will fully restore the Voting Rights Act, which according to Wild, “has been chipped away at.”
Thirdly, the bill will increase transparency of elected officials.
“Every elected official needs to be held to the highest standard of transparency and accountability.”
Wild is excited to represent the 7th Congressional District and begin working to improve the welfare of all Pennsylvanians.
She will be sworn in on Jan. 3, 2019 with other politicians as the 116th Congress.
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