Alex Khalil is a member of the Jenkintown Borough Council and a longtime Democratic activist in Montgomery County now running for the party’s U.S. Senate nomination in Pennsylvania.
She has a background in information technology and small-business consulting. Khalil is the only woman running in the Democratic primary. She is relatively unknown in the race.
What is Alex Khalil’s background?
Khalil, 60, was born in Hackensack, N.J., and raised in Glassboro and New York City.
She represents Montgomery County on the state association of boroughs and is a board member of the Jenkintown Education Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money for the district.
She was an active supporter of both of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns and was a delegate for his White House run in 2016.
Khalil has a degree in electrical engineering technology from Temple, a degree in library and information Science from Drexel, and a law degree from Temple.
She has a consulting firm for small businesses based in New Jersey, and she formerly taught business courses at Gwynedd Mercy College.
What are Alex Khalil’s top policy priorities?
Khalil said her interest in running for office began as she watched small businesses struggle during the pandemic.
“We really didn’t have enough help for small businesses in this country,” she said in an interview. “Big corporations got loans — the Walmarts and the Targets and the Home Depots were able to open and yet the mom-and-pop shop was told, ‘Well, good luck.’”
Khalil says she’d focus on making prescription drugs more affordable, bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., and reforming schools to include more job training for students.
“Our kids should be leaving public schools saying, ‘I’m good. I can start my own business, I can go into the trades, I can go to college, or I can do all three,’” she said.
Khalil also lists environmental justice as a priority.
Some of her other priorities include bringing rebuilding the Philadelphia textile industry that once employed 60,000 people, and supporting Pennsylvania artists with government funding.
Who is backing Alex Khalil?
Khalil has not won any major endorsements.
Her campaign raised $13,000 in the last quarter and had less than $2,000 in the bank as of the end of March, according to federal filings by far the smallest amount of anyone in the race.
“I find myself in this circle that people don’t know me because I wasn’t getting any press, so then I wasn’t getting any donations,” she said.
What else should I know?
She’s the only candidate running from Montgomery County (or from any suburban Philadelphia county), and the only woman in the Democratic primary. Pennsylvania has never elected a woman to the U.S. Senate.
Khalil also would be the country’s first Muslim senator.