Sixth Democrat enters race to oust Republican U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan

By Dave Davies, January 23, 2018

A new Democrat has emerged to run for the suburban congressional seat held by Republican U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, who was named in a sexual harassment case over the weekend. The newcomer to the race is Shelly Chauncey, a 37-year-old veteran of the CIA and a first-time candidate for office.

Meehan represents Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, which includes parts of Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Berks, and Lancaster counties.

There are already five announced candidates for the Democratic primary, but party leaders have been looking for another after the previous frontrunner, State Sen. Daylin Leach, was wounded by sexual misconduct allegations last month.

Democrats were looking at an uphill fight to capture seat from Meehan, a formidable four-term incumbent. That was before Saturday, when the New York Times reported that Meehan had privately settled a sexual harassment claim from a woman on his staff who was decades younger. 

Chauncey actually registered her campaign committee Thursday, two days before the Meehan bombshell.

I asked Chauncey, who is married and a mother of three, whether she volunteered or was recruited to run for the seat.

“I think it was a combination of just talking to people and realizing I just couldn’t sit back any more,” she said.

Chauncey said she was considering running for a local race, and as she talked to Democratic leaders, “it was suggested that because of the issues that I care about that I should consider running for this seat.”

Chauncey is a cancer survivor who said health care is a key issue for her. She said she favors a single-payer system, but believes that won’t be possible for a long time. She favors beginning with ensuring that all children have health insurance.

The other announced Democratic candidates are Dan Muroff, a lawyer and former congressional staffer; bioengineer Molly Sheehan; realtor Elizabeth Moro,  IT executive Drew McGinty; and Leach, who said last month he was “taking a step back” from his congressional campaign.

Shelly Chauncey