Campaigns & Elections

Ashley Ehasz picks up Emily’s List endorsement in 1st Congressional District race

Ehasz is seeking to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick in this year’s election.

Democratic congressional candidate Ashley Ehasz

Democratic congressional candidate Ashley Ehasz Ehasz for Congress / Emily’s List

A Democrat seeking to unseat U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick in the state’s 1st Congressional District picked up a major endorsement on Thursday as she looks to line up support ahead of this year’s election. 

Ashley Ehasz, a U.S. Army veteran in the midst of her second bid for the 1st Congressional District, received an endorsement Thursday from Emily’s List, a political action committee dedicated to electing female candidates across the nation. 

Jessica Mackler, the interim president of Emily’s List, praised Ehasz, who is running unopposed in the April Democratic primary, for her military service and touted her as a candidate who will protect abortion rights by opposing efforts to ban abortion at the national level. 

“Ashley Ehasz has been a fearless leader her entire life, serving our country at home and abroad to protect our fundamental freedoms,” Mackler said Tuesday in a statement. “Now, she’s ready to take that fight to Congress and unseat anti-choice extremist Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick.”

The issue of abortion rights has been in the national spotlight since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling two years ago that overturned its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a federal right to abortion. 

In a statement, Ehasz said she was proud to receive the endorsement. "I am honored, as a combat veteran who fought overseas to defend our freedom, to have the endorsement of EMILYs List, the largest resource for women in politics. Anti-abortion extremists like Brian Fitzpatrick want to take away a woman's right to choose, and this seat is critical to electing a pro-choice majority to Congress,” Ehasz said in a statement to City & State. “Pennsylvania's 1st congressional district deserves a leader who will fight for reproductive freedom – and I will defend that right every day."

Ehasz is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and would be the first female West Point graduate in Congress if elected in November. During her time in the Army, Ehasz was an Apache helicopter pilot and graduated from flight school in 2012 as the only woman in her class.

Fitzpatrick is a former FBI agent who served the bureau for 14 years before running for Congress. He previously served as national director for the FBI’s Campaign Finance and Election Crimes Enforcement Program, as well as a national supervisor for the FBI’s Public Corruption Unit. 

In an interview with City & State last year, Fitzpatrick discussed his electoral success in the 1st Congressional District, his approach to bipartisanship and his involvement with the congressional Problem Solvers Caucus. 

Emily’s List has placed Fitzpatrick on their “Incumbents On Notice” list, which outlines members of Congress the organization hopes to defeat in 2024. 

Several independent political forecasters have predicted that the 1st Congressional District race currently favors Fitzpatrick. Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a project of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, have both classified the district as “Likely Republican,” as has Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales. 

Mackler, in her statement, touched on the political stakes of the 1st Congressional District, and suggested that the district, which Fitzpatrick has represented since 2017, will be key to Democrats winning control of the U.S. House of Representatives – and defending access to abortion.

“EMILYs List is proud to be standing by a pro-choice champion like Ehasz,” Mackler continued. “With her help, we’ll take back the U.S. House in November and ensure that Republicans can never pass a national abortion ban.”

NEXT STORY: Five For Friday: Petition edition