Chrissy Houlahan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Chrissy Houlahan
Chrissy Houlahan, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 6th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019 (2019-01-03)
Preceded byRyan Costello
Personal details
Christina Marie Jampoler

(1967-06-05) June 5, 1967 (age 53)
Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Bart Houlahan
EducationStanford University (BS)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MS)
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Air Force
RankUS-O3 insignia.svg Captain
UnitUnited States Air Force Reserve

Christina Marie Houlahan (née Jampoler; born June 5, 1967)[1] is an American politician, engineer, entrepreneur, and former United States Air Force officer. A member of the Democratic Party, she is the U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania's 6th congressional district. The district includes almost all of Chester County, a suburban county west of Philadelphia, as well as the southern portion of Berks County including the city of Reading. She was first elected in 2018, defeating Republican Greg McCauley in the midterms.

Personal life and education[edit]

Houlahan spent her childhood on various U.S. naval bases across the country, including on Oahu.[2][3] Her father, Andrew C.A. Jampoler, a naval aviator, was born in Poland, to a Jewish family, and left the country at age four to escape the Holocaust,[4][5][6] He became a historian and author.[7][8][9][10]

Houlahan, citing her idols as Indiana Jones and Sally Ride,[11] earned her bachelor's degree[12][13][14] in Engineering from Stanford University in 1989, on an AFROTC scholarship.[3] She then earned a master's degree in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994.[3][15]

Earlier career[edit]

Military service[edit]

After graduating from Stanford University, Houlahan spent three years on United States Air Force active duty at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Massachusetts. There, she served as a project manager working on air and space defense technologies.[3]

Private sector[edit]

After leaving active duty for the Air Force Reserve, Houlahan went to work for the start-up sportswear company AND1 as Chief Operating Officer. As part of the employee benefits program the company offered 40 paid hours of community service at a location of the employee's choosing. Houlahan dedicated her hours to working with girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).[3] Houlahan became Chief Operating Officer of B-Lab, a non-profit start-up, when AND1 was sold.[5]

Education career[edit]

Citing a need to experience the problems in the U.S. educational system first-hand, Houlahan entered the lifelong learning program at University of Pennsylvania where she re-took courses in the hard sciences. She enrolled in the Teach for America program and began working as an 11th-grade science teacher at Simon Gratz High School in Philadelphia.[16] She withdrew from the Teach for America program after one year and joined Springboard Collaborative, a Philadelphia-based non-profit focusing on early childhood literacy in underserved populations nationwide. Houlahan served as both President and CFO/COO of Springboard Collaborative before leaving to focus on her political campaign.[5]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


2018 general election[edit]

Houlahan has said that one of the experiences that motivated her to run for Congress was her organization of a bus trip to the Women's March in Washington, D.C., on January 21, 2017.[5] When asked why she chose to begin her political career by running for Congress and not a lower office, she said, “I don’t have time for that. The stakes are too high, and I think I’m qualified."[17]

Houlahan expected to face two-term Republican incumbent Ryan Costello. However, Costello pulled out of the race after the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania threw out Pennsylvania's congressional map as an unconstitutional partisan Republican gerrymander.[18][19] While Costello was the only incumbent to retain his previous district number, it was made significantly more compact and bluer than its predecessor. It lost its heavily Republican western portion, around Lebanon. Instead, it now took in all of Chester County, along with the more Democratic portions of Berks County, including Reading.[20] Had the district existed in 2016, Hillary Clinton would have won it with 52 percent of the vote to Donald Trump's 43 percent;[21] Clinton carried the old 6th with 48 percent of the vote.[22]

Houlahan took the Democratic nomination unopposed and faced first-time candidate Greg McCauley in the general election.[23] On November 6, 2018, Houlahan easily defeated McCauley, garnering 58.8% of the vote over McCauley's 41.1%.[24] Houlahan was one of seven Pennsylvania women running for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018,[25] and one of four Democratic women to win, along with Mary Gay Scanlon, Madeleine Dean and Susan Wild. She also joined two other female veterans in the House freshman class, former naval officers Elaine Luria and Mikie Sherrill.

Upon taking office in January 2019, Houlahan became the first Democrat to represent a Chester County-based district in 166 years. The county had historically been very Republican, but has trended much more Democratic in recent years.[26]

Houlahan ran on a platform that included healthcare, job creation, and campaign finance reform.[27] Other campaign issues she identified included education, family issues, and veteran's issues.[28] Houlahan had a strong record of campaign fundraising,[29] with donations totaling almost $5 million so far.[3][30] She was also endorsed by many organizations, including Emily's List,[31] Human Rights Campaign,[32] Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence,[33] Project 100,[34] Vote Vets,[35] the Service Employees International Union-PA (SEIU PA)[36] and several other local unions.[35]

Political positions[edit]

She supports the government negotiating drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies and a public option, but opposes a single payer healthcare system.[37] She supports same-sex marriage, the Equality Act, and opposes President Trump's memorandum banning transgender individuals from the military.[38][39] She has stated she is not an advocate of withdrawing US troops from Syria at this time.[40]


Houlahan Co-chairs the Servicewomen and Female Veterans Caucus, the Women in STEM Caucus, and the For Country Caucus, and is a member of the New Democrat Caucus, the Honor and Civility Caucus, the Congressional National Service Caucus, the Veterans' Education Caucus, the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, and the Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition.

Committee assignments[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Chrissy Houlahan 34,947 100.0
Total votes 34,947 100.0
Pennsylvania's 6th congressional district, 2018[41]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Chrissy Houlahan 177,704 58.9
Republican Greg McCauley 124,124 41.1
Total votes 301,828 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican

Personal life[edit]

Houlahan lives in Devon, Pennsylvania, with her spouse of 27 years, Bart, whom she met at Stanford. They put on hold their goal of running a foot race in every state before age 50 when she entered the race for U.S. Representative.[28] The couple has two adult daughters.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Chrissy Houlahan For U.S. Congress". Chrissy for Congress. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e f Mervis. "How a Pennsylvania industrial engineer became the odds-on favorite to win a seat in Congress". Science Magazine.
  4. ^ "Inspired by Trump, These Jewish Women Have Decided to Run for Office". Haaretz.
  5. ^ a b c d Latimer. "Air Force vet challenges Rep. Ryan Costello". LD News.
  6. ^ "Twitter".
  7. ^ "2012 Board of Director Candidates – U.S. Naval Institute". Archived from the original on November 12, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  8. ^ "Jampoler, Andrew C.A. 1942- –". Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  9. ^ "Leadership – Naval Historical Foundation". September 27, 2011. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  10. ^ "Untitled" (PDF). Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  12. ^ "Alumni US – Stanford University (1989)". Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Google Scholar". Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b Searles & Richmond. "Angered by Trump's election, this Pennsylvania business leader and U.S. Navy veteran challenged an incumbent Republican for a seat in the U.S. House. Then he dropped out". The Story Exchange.
  17. ^ Mervis, Jeffrey. "How a Pennsylvania industrial engineer became the odds-on favorite to win a seat in Congress". Science. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
  18. ^ "In Pa.'s new congressional map, this Republican's 'bad dream' turns into 'a nightmare' – Philly". Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  19. ^ Stracqualursi, Veronica; Bradner, Eric (March 25, 2018). "Rep. Ryan Costello will drop bid for reelection in Pennsylvania". CNN. Cable News Network.
  20. ^ Cohn, Nate (February 19, 2018). "The New Pennsylvania Congressional Map, District by District". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  21. ^ Presidential results by congressional district for districts used in 2018, from Daily Kos
  22. ^ Presidential results by congressional district for districts used in 2016, from Daily Kos
  23. ^ Prokop. "These 6 Pennsylvania Democratic nominees are key to the battle for House control". Vox.
  24. ^ "Chrissy Houlahan". Ballotpedia. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  25. ^ Gabriel. "Pennsylvania Primaries Deliver Strong Wins for Democratic Women". The New York Times.
  26. ^ @ChescoCourtNews, Michael P. Rellahan Staff Writer On Twitter. "Democrat Chrissy Houlahan wins historic Congressional race". Daily Local News. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  27. ^ Sasko. "The No-B.S. Guide to Philadelphia-Area Women Running for Congress". Philly Magazine.
  28. ^ a b Rettew. "2 candidates announce bid for 6th District seat in Democratic primary". Daily Local.
  29. ^ Cole. "Houlahan Raises $840K in Q2". Politics PA.
  30. ^ "HOULAHAN, CHRISSY". Federal Election Commission.
  32. ^ Metzger. "Human Rights Campaign Endorses Chrissy Houlahan for Congress".
  34. ^ "Chrissy Houlahan". Project 100.
  35. ^ a b Rellahan. "Casey endorses Houlahan in 6th Congressional Dist., Costello challenges map". Potts Mercury.
  36. ^ "SEIU PA State Council Announces Endorsed Candidates for 2018 Primary Election". SEIU PA.
  37. ^ Vargas, Claudia. "Chrissy Houlahan and Greg McCauley, two political novices, running for open U.S. House seat in Chester, Berks". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  38. ^ "Human Rights Campaign Endorses Chrissy Houlahan for Congress". Human Rights Campaign.
  39. ^ "Cosponsors – H.Res.124 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Expressing opposition to banning service in the Armed Forces by openly transgender individuals". March 28, 2019.
  40. ^ "Rep. Houlahan on U.S. Troops Withdrawal from Syria". MSN. January 19, 2019. Archived from the original on January 26, 2019.
  41. ^ "2018 General Election: Representative in Congress". Pennsylvania Secretary of State. November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ryan Costello
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 6th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Kendra Horn
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Dusty Johnson