Former WHYY correspondent Elizabeth Fiedler will launch a campaign against longtime South Philadelphia Rep. William Keller for the 2018 midterm election, sources have told City&State.
“I am exploring a run for office,” Fiedler said on Friday. “I believe now is the time for us to come forward with bold policies for working people. Leaving journalism is allowing me to explore being explicitly political.”
The former reporter’s interest is not exactly a secret. Fiedler recently launched a generic campaign-style Facebook page and rebranded her Twitter account as “Fiedler4Philly.” Notably, neither specify which seat Fiedler intends to run for. While she hasn’t announced her full platform, she supports expanded health care and increased education funding.
But several sources told City&State PA that she had been eyeing Keller’s seat in the 184th House District. Fiedler moved her family into Keller’s district last year and, this week, attended the Democratic Party’s “Progressive Change Campaign Committee” training seminar, in Washington, D.C.
Fiedler worked at WHYY for over a decade, notably covering health issues for “The Pulse,” a weekly radio program. The Central PA native later freelanced for that station and other public radio outlets, like WNYC.
Keller did not immediately return a call for comment about his possible re-election challenger.
The incumbent, a former longshoreman who owns a neighborhood sporting goods store, took office in 1993. He has run unopposed for the past three elections and last saw a primary challenge in 2008. In the capital, Keller is minority chair of the House Transportation committee and is primarily associated with port issues, like the Delaware River dredging project.
He is often identified as a close associate of union leader John Dougherty, and sits on the board of a charter school with ties to Dougherty. In 2010, Keller’s home and business were raided in connection with a federal investigation into tax evasion that may be linked to a larger investigation into Dougherty’s electricians union, Local 98. Keller was never charged with a crime, although a close aide landed a prison sentence over the scheme.