For the first time, Delaware County is sending a woman to Washington — and for essentially two terms.
Mary Gay Scanlon on Tuesday convincingly won the newly drawn district over Republican Pearl Kim, joining many Democratic women who have been elected since 2016, in an apparent push-back against President Donald Trump. Scanlon out-polled Kim by a 60-40 ratio.
The contest in Delaware County's Fifth Congressional District marked the state's only race between two women candidates.
Scanlon won two seats. Until January, she will fill the seat of Republican Pat Meehan, who resigned due to sexual harassment allegations, and then start a full term representing the new district, which encompasses all of Delaware County, as well as parts of Montgomery County and South Philadelphia.
"From South Philly to Chester, we chose not only fairness and opportunity and civility, but we chose to be a better nation than we were yesterday," Scanlon told the crowd gathered at the county Democrats' watch party at the Inn at Swarthmore. "Today, we the people reclaimed our government … Today we showed up."
"Yes we did," shouted a supporter.
During the campaign, Scanlon, 59, a longtime civil rights attorney and former president of the Wallingford-Swarthmore school board, embraced her party affiliation. She campaigned on traditional Democratic platforms, advocating for gun control, public education, immigration reform, and LGBTQ rights.
Kim, on the other hand, distanced herself from her party, omitting the word "Republican" from her campaign pamphlets and touting her more moderate positions on issues like immigration, climate change, and health care. The 39-year-old special victims prosecutor received bipartisanship support and talked openly about her experience as a survivor of sexual assault, including in an interview on The Van Jones Show on CNN.
Scanlon had spent the final few hours before the polls closed driving around South Philadelphia in a nondescript white van with former Gov. Ed Rendell. On a megaphone affixed to the car, Rendell urged residents to get out and vote for Democractic nominees.
Kim traveled across the district on Tuesday, and finished the night watching election results at Springfield Country Club. Her campaign could not immediately be reached for comment lateTuesday night.