Pa. Rep. Susan Wild holds $2M advantage over Republican Scheller in 7th District congressional race

But Scheller has more money compared to same period in 2020

By: - July 25, 2022 6:30 am

(Getty Images)

By Katherine Reinhard and Robert H. Orenstein

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Susan Wild entered the summer with nearly $2 million more in campaign funds than Republican Lisa Scheller, her challenger in the 7th Congressional District race.

But Scheller, who faced Wild in 2020 and lost 51.9% to 48.1%, is better situated financially this time around.

Two years ago, after the 2020 primary, Wild had $2,093,040 in available cash compared to Scheller’s $273,748. Wild was unopposed for the Democratic primary, while Scheller defeated Dean Browning, now a candidate in the state’s 14th Senate District, in the Republican primary

In the July quarterly report, Wild, who is seeking her third term, had $3,143,371 in cash on hand in the FEC reporting quarter that began on April 28 and ended June 30. Scheller ended the period with $1,190,663 in cash heading into the general election campaign.

Wild’s net campaign contributions for the period were $850,528, which included the 2 1/2 weeks leading up to the May 17 primary. Her campaign spent $217,596. Wild did not have a challenger in the primary.

Scheller, who defeated Kevin Dellicker in the primary, had net contributions for the period of  $365,342. Her campaign spent $371,460 during that time.

The 7th District includes all of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties and the townships of Eldred and Polk and about half of Ross in Monroe County. The election will be Nov. 8.

Here are more details from their latest campaign finance reports filed July 15 with the Federal Election Commission. The next quarterly report is due by Oct. 15.

U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-7th District
U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-7th District (Armchair Lehigh Valley).

Susan Wild:

Wild raised $663,536 in individual contributions, with some donations as small as $5. Much of that – $330,198 – was filtered through Act Blue, a fundraising platform for Democrats. Another $26,131 came through the fundraising platform Democracy Engine.

Individual donors included Nancy Kohlberg, CEO of the Kohlberg Foundation ($2,900); Casey Bloys, chief content officer for HBO and HBO Max ($2,900); Christian F. Martin IV, executive chairman of Martin Guitar ($1,000); Lou Pektor, CEO of Ashley Development Corp., Bethlehem ($500); Center Valley resident Jay Goldstein, CEO of Spring Garden Lending ($500); Stuart Schooley, president of Dutch Springs ($1,000); Susan Yee, internet entrepreneur and former COO of Twin County Cable ($1,000).

Wild received $185,508 in contributions from political action committees, including groups that support Democratic stances on abortion, reproductive, voting and LGBTQ rights.

Those PACs included National Organization for Women ($500); Emily’s List ($22,265); NARAL Pro Choice America ($2,500); Voter Protection Project ($1,000) and the Human Rights Campaign ($1,000).

Wild drew support from union PACs that included UA Union Plumbers & Pipefitters Vote! PAC ($5,000); United Food And Commercial Workers International Union Active Ballot Club ($5,000); National Air Traffic Controllers Association PAC ($2,000); and National Roofing Contractors Association PAC ($1,000).

Wild also received contributions from individuals and PACs that promote U.S.-Israeli relations, including Stacy Schusterman, chair of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies ($2,900), and her mother, Lynn Schusterman ($2,900); Pro-Israel America PAC ($250); and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Political Action Committee ($750).

Donations from politicians included Ted Lieu for Congress ($1,000); Jamie Harrison for U.S. Senate ($2,000); and Lehigh County Executive Phil Armstrong’s Armstrong4Executive ($500).

Republican 7th Congressional District candidate Lisa Scheller (Contributed photo).

Lisa Scheller

Scheller, a former Lehigh County commissioner and chairman and CEO of Silberline Manufacturing in Schuylkill County, collected a total of $303,796 in individual donations. That included $152,183 from WinRed, a fundraising operation endorsed by the Republican National Committee.

In the current reporting period, she received $5,000 from the National Republican Congressional Committee and more than $60,000 from political action committees and U.S. House Republican members, either from their campaigns or leadership PACs.

Those contributions include:

  • Republican Jewish Committee PAC, $16,836.
  • Koch Industries Inc. PAC, $5,000.
  • No Nonsense PAC (Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, New York), $2,500.
  • American GRIT PAC (Rep. Kat Cammack, Florida), $2,500.
  • Bulldog PAC (Rep. Jodey Arrington, Texas) $2,000.
  • CMR PAC (Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Washington) $2,500.
  • Electing Majority Making Effective Republicans (Rep. Tom Emmer, Minnesota), $5,000.
  • Greater Tomorrow PAC (Rep. Glenn Thompson, 15th District, Pennsylvania), $4,000.
  • Jam PAC (Rep. Lloyd Smucker, Pennsylvania), $5,000.
  • Guy for Congress  (Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, 14th District, Pennsylvania), $4,000.

Major individual donors include:

  • David McCormick, who lost the GOP nomination for U.S. senator in the Pennsylvania primary to Mehmet Oz, $2,900.
  • Scott Wagner, chairman of KBS Inc. and a former Republican state senator from York who, as the GOP gubernatorial nominee, lost to Democratic incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf in 2018, $2,900.
  • Greg Butz, Orefield, president and CEO of the Butz Family of Companies, $1,000.
  • Brian W. Rich, Orwigsburg, owner, Reading Anthracite of Pottsville, $1,000.
  • Andrew Wright, an executive with Vinart Management Co. automobile dealerships, $2,900.
  • Murray Goodman, West Palm Beach, Fla., chairman of The Goodman Company and major benefactor to Lehigh University, his alma mater, $2,000.
  • Joe Topper Jr., chairman of CrossAmerica Partners, an Allentown company that owns gas station-convenience stores, $2,900. Topper also donated $2,900 to Dellicker before the primary. His donation to Scheller was made June 30, about six weeks after the primary.
  • Adam Beren, president of  Berexco, an oil and gas exploration and production company in Wichita, Kansas, $2,900.
  • Paul Singer, president of Elliott Investment Management, Boston, $2,900
  • Richard Lipsey, founder of Louisiana-based Lipsey’s, one of the largest independently owned shooting sports distributors in the country, $2,400.

Additionally, four members of the Asher family, known for Asher’s Chocolates in Souderton, donated a total of $10,000.

Robert Asher of Lower Gwynedd Township, co-chair of the board of the family company, donated $2,900. A longtime fixture in Pennsylvania GOP politics, he was finance chair for the gubernatorial campaigns of Tom Ridge and Tom Corbett and was co-chair of President Trump’s finance reelection committee in the state in 2020.

A former chairman of the state Republican Party, he was connected to a bribery scheme involving a no-bid state contract. Asher was convicted in 1986 of conspiracy to commit bribery, perjury, mail fraud, and interstate transportation in aid of racketeering and was sentenced to a year and a day in jail and fined $205,000. He served seven months in federal prison. Since then, he has re-engaged in Pennsylvania politics.

Other members of the Asher family who contributed to Scheller’s campaign are Jeffrey, of Skippack, president and CEO of Asher’s Chocolates, ($2,100; Natalie of Skippack ($2,900), and Joyce of Lower Gwynned ($2,100).

Katherine Reinhard and Robert H. Orenstein are reporters for the political newsletter, Armchair Lehigh Valley, a publishing partner of the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, where this story first appeared

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