Campaigns & Elections

A guide to Pennsylvania’s 7th congressional race

State Rep. Ryan Mackenzie will go up against U.S. Rep. Susan Wild in November

Susan Wild; Ryan Mackenzie

Susan Wild; Ryan Mackenzie U.S. House of Representatives; PA House of Representatives

November’s general election features several marquee matchups with statewide implications, and while most eyes are on the presidential and U.S. Senate races, the outcome of a handful of U.S. House races could also decide control of Congress. 

Pennsylvania’s 7th congressional district sits in the Lehigh Valley, which is seen not just as a statewide but a national indicator of where voters in a mix of suburban and rural communities are shifting. The party nominees – incumbent Democrat Susan Wild and Republican state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie – are now looking to set themselves apart and garner enough support around the margins to ensure a general election win. 

City & State has your guide to the campaign, candidate endorsements and more.

Susan Wild

For Democrat Susan Wild of South Whitehall Township, who is seeking her fourth two-year term, the reelection push isn’t new. She’s successfully fended off challengers before and will have to do it again as her district is seen as an achievable flip for Republicans, with Cook Political Report listing the seat as a “Democrat Toss Up,” similar to Wild’s previous reelection campaigns.

In the November 2020 election, Wild defeated Republican Lisa Scheller by more than 14,000 votes. Wild defeated Scheller again two years later, that time by just 5,837 votes. Wild came to Congress after becoming the first female solicitor of the City of Allentown in January 2015. She succeeded retiring Republican representative Charlie Dent in 2018 in what was then the 15th district. 

During her time in Congress, Wild has served as a ranking member of the Committee on Ethics and vice chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. On the campaign trail, she’s continued to push Democrats’ priorities related to reproductive rights and voting rights, arguing she’s needed in Washington, D.C. to stand up “against any and all forms of fear and hate.”

Endorsements: The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Fight Like Hell PAC, Defend The Vote PAC

Ryan Mackenzie

Republican state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie won the April primary, defeating Kevin Dellicker and Maria Montero, largely leaning on his legislative résumé and his time in Harrisburg as selling points. A Republican state representative from Lehigh County, Mackenzie has been a state legislator since 2012. Prior to his time as a lawmaker, Mackenzie served as the director of policy at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. 

With his labor background, Mackenzie focused on workforce development and tax reform, among other things, as a state legislator. He currently serves as the minority chair of the House Labor and Industry Committee and co-chair of the House Intelligence Relations Caucus. 

Throughout the primary campaign and into general election season, Mackenzie has maintained his conservative approach to everything from education to health care, while also setting himself apart with a couple of stances. Mackenzie was the only Republican candidate during the primary to express support for protecting fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization, an issue Wild and Democrats have backed in the wake of an Alabama Supreme Court decision that puts the procedure at risk. 

Endorsements: Americans for Prosperity Action, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund, GOPAC, Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners President Brian Higgins, Upper Macungie Township Supervisor Kathy Rader, Jim Thorpe Borough Council Member Sydney Wernett, Macungie President Councilman Ron Karboski, former Carbon County Republican Party Chair Joe Steber, Bath Borough Mayor Fiorella “Fi” Reginelli Mirabito, Northampton County Councilmember Thomas Giovanni