News & Politics

National Democratic group gives key support to Janelle Stelson and Ashley Ehasz

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” program provides financial and organizational support to Democratic congressional contenders.

Democratic congressional candidates Ashley Ehasz and Janelle Stelson.

Democratic congressional candidates Ashley Ehasz and Janelle Stelson. Ashley Ehasz for Congress / Friends of Janelle Stelson

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has added two Democratic challengers for congressional seats in Pennsylvania to its “Red to Blue” program, an initiative that provides fundraising and organizational support to candidates running for Congress. 

The DCCC, an organization devoted to electing Democrats to Congress, added Janelle Stelson and Ashley Ehasz to its “Red to Blue” list on Wednesday. Stelson, a longtime broadcast journalist and first-time candidate, is taking on incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Perry in the state’s 10th Congressional District this fall, while Ehasz, a veteran, is looking to win the rematch of her 2022 race with U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick in the 1st Congressional District. 

DCCC Chair and U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, who represents Washington state’s 1st Congressional District, expressed praise for both Stelson and Ehasz – and their chances of cutting into the GOP majority in the U.S. House. 

DelBene cast Perry as an extremist and tied Fitzpatrick to policies backed by former President Donald Trump, who is the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee in 2024. 

“Janelle Stelson dedicated her career to telling people’s stories. She knows what matters to Central Pennsylvanians is not what out-of-touch extremists like Scott Perry care about. Perry is focused on outlawing IVF (in vitro fertilization), passing a national abortion ban and overthrowing our democracy. He has always put his dangerous extremism ahead of his constituents,” DelBene said. “I look forward to Janelle winning this race so that Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional district can once again have real representation.”

Citing Ehasz’s military service, DelBene characterized her as a leader and as someone who would protect abortion rights if elected to office. 

“Ashley Ehasz has always fought for our fundamental freedoms and was willing to lay her life on the line to defend our democracy,” DelBene said. “At a time when anti-abortion extremists like Brian Fitzpatrick are bending the knee to Donald Trump in pursuit of a national abortion ban, Pennsylvanians deserve a leader like Ashley who will codify Roe v. Wade and protect a (woman’s) right to choose.”

“Being part of the DCCC’s Red to Blue program shows that the path to flipping the House, defending democracy, and protecting our reproductive freedom runs through Pennsylvania’s First,” Ehasz said in a statement. “In Congress, I’ll fight for our freedom and our right to choose, just as I did in the Army.”

Pennsylvania’s congressional campaign cycle has picked up in earnest over the last several weeks, even drawing a visit from U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, who visited the commonwealth last week to stump for GOP congressional candidates.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has rated the 10th Congressional District as “Lean Republican,” as did Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a project of The Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. 

In the 1st Congressional District, Cook Political Report classified the race as “Likely Republican” for 2024, and Sabato’s Crystal Ball rated the district the same.