Pennsylvania's Fifth Congressional District

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Shelly's Story

As the daughter of a prison guard and a teacher – and a mother of three children – Shelly understands how hard it can be to provide the best possible life for your children, pay a mortgage, put food on the table, and still find time to serve your community.

 Shelly grew up on a small family farm, watching her parents struggle to make ends meet.  This instilled in her a strong work ethic and a deep gratitude for what little she did have.  Shelly worked 2 jobs – including as a waitress – to pay for college, graduating from Meredith College with a degree in Political science.  Shelly earned a JD from Drexel University.  She is still paying off her student loans.

Shelly served her nation for more than a decade with the Central Intelligence Agency.  She began her career as a secretary and worked her way up to become a counter-intelligence officer.  Shelly served as an undercover officer with the CIA in Latin America, East Asia and throughout the United States, providing logistical and counter-intelligence support to operatives abroad.

As a former counter-intelligence officer, Shelly also understands that having taken an oath to protect her country imposes on her a moral obligation to stand up for what is right, and to take action when her government no longer serves the needs of current and future generations of Americans.Shelly served her nation for more than a decade as an officer with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations.  She understands the sacrifices necessary to protect America and its interests in the world, and she also recognizes the threats to our security from weak leadership and reckless decisions.

As a peer counselor and mental health ambassador in the legal profession, and as the mother of a special-needs child adopted from foster care, Shelly understands the importance of reducing the stigma of mental illness and providing treatment opportunities for those who need it. Shelly also is a cancer survivor, and personally appreciates the importance of quality and reliable health care coverage for all individuals, regardless of background or economic status.

Shelly’s views on public service are shaped by her working-class background, national security experience, and dedicated role as a wife and mother. She does not come from a family of wealth, privilege, or political connections. Like the people of Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District, she has worked hard for everything she has, and understands that government needs to help where it must, stay out of the way where it can, and protect its citizens at all costs.

Shelly lives in Glen Mills with her husband, three children, three dogs, two cats, and five chickens.

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