Susan Wild

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Susan Wild
Susan Wild, Official Portrait, 115th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 7th district
Assumed office
November 27, 2018
Preceded byCharlie Dent
Constituency15th district (2018–2019)
7th district (2019–present)
Solicitor of Allentown
In office
January 7, 2015 – December 31, 2017
Preceded byJerry Snyder
Succeeded byDan McCarthy
Personal details
Susan Ellis

(1957-06-07) June 7, 1957 (age 62)
Wiesbaden Air Force Base, West Germany
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Russell Wild (1981-2002) Kerry Acker (2003-2019)
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[edit]

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[edit]


2018 General election[edit]

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 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[edit]

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 far-right politician criticized for misogynistic, homophobic and anti-immigrant views who has been embraced by the Trump administration as an ally and partner.[18] 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]

On March 28, 2019, Wild participated in an event at The George Washington University Law School hosted by the GW Jewish Law Student Association. While at the event, Wild was asked to respond to recent criticism of fellow democratic freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Wild mentioned that on multiple occasions, she attempted to reach out to Representative Omar about her comments regarding Judaism, Israel, and AIPAC. Wild indicated that she had not received a response from Representative Omar's office at that time, although Omar said that on multiple occasions she attempted to reach out to Wild regarding her public comments about Omar, and she had not received an apology from Representative Wild's office. This comes weeks after Wild publicly said of Omar's comments, "at best, they were tone deaf."[19]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]


  1. ^ "Susan Stimus Ellis". Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Five things you probably don't know about the Lehigh Valley's first congresswoman - The Morning Call". Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  3. ^ Veitch, Abbie (February 21, 2018). "Alumna Susan Wild runs for Pennsylvania congressional seat". Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  4. ^ Baskerville, Jessica (March 5, 2018). "Inspired by her classes, law school alumna runs for House seat – The GW Hatchet". Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  5. ^ "Allentown solicitor plans congressional bid in 15th District - The Morning Call". November 2, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  6. ^ "Susan Ellis Wild to serve as Allentown's next solicitor - The Morning Call". November 2, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  7. ^ "Allentown solicitor plans congressional bid in 15th District - The Morning Call". October 2, 2017. Retrieved October 11, 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 November 9, 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 3, 2018. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  10. ^ "How Susan Wild went from a relative unknown to PA-7 primary winner - The Morning Call". Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  11. ^ "Susan Wild claims Lehigh Valley's Democratic primary for Congress". May 15, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 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 November 18, 2018.
  14. ^ "Marty Nothstein leads in race to finish Charlie Dent's term - The Morning Call". November 2, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  15. ^ "15th District candidates set for special 2018 election". July 31, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  16. ^ "Susan Wild wins special congressional election to finish Charlie Dent's term - The Morning Call". Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  17. ^ 69 News (June 23, 2016). "Susan Wild announces victory in 15th district special election". WFMZ. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  18. ^ a b "Brazil's far-right president tweeted out a pornographic video to condemn Carnival". Vox. March 6, 2019.
  19. ^ Olson, Laura. "Rep. Susan Wild weighs in on controversial comments from Rep. Ilhan Omar on Israel". Retrieved March 30, 2019.
  20. ^ Olson, Laura. "Susan Wild wins special congressional election to finish Charlie Dent's term". Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  21. ^ "Democrat Holds Slim Lead In Jew vs. Jew Race For Pennsylvania Swing Seat". Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved December 27, 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Susan Wild at Wikimedia Commons

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charlie Dent
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district

Succeeded by
Glenn Thompson
Preceded by
Mary Gay Scanlon
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mary Gay Scanlon
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Steven Horsford