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’17 Alumna Enters Race for U.S. Congress in Pennsylvania’s 7th District

Shelly Chauncey

January 22, 2018

Shelly Chauncey, a ’17 alumna, is running for Congress in the 7th District seat currently held by GOP Rep. Patrick Meehan, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Jan. 22.

Chauncey, a resident of Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, is stepping in after Democratic state Sen. Daylin Leach announced that he would step back from the closely watched race after women accused him of inappropriate touching and sexualized jokes.

Meehan faces his own questions about conduct towards women, in the wake of a New York Times report that the three-term Congressman secretly settled a harassment complaint, using thousands of dollars in taxpayer money. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Meehan would be removed immediately from the House Ethics Committee, which investigates sexual misconduct claims against members of congress.

In the Inquirer, however, Chauncey cited other motivations for entering the race.

“I can’t sit back and watch our representative go to Washington and support an administration that’s taking away our health care and destroying the equality of our education,” she told the Inquirer.

In a press release, Chauncey explained that she is “running because we aren't going to see real change in Washington unless we send different kinds of people there...people who don't drive a pick-up truck in a campaign ad, but who actually drive one in real life. People who can speak to the experience most people have to the chaos they are creating in Washington.”

Chauncey, who currently works as a peer counselor and mental health ambassador in the legal profession, is the daughter of a prison guard and a teacher.

As a student, she worked in the Appellate Litigation Clinic and co-authored an article, with Professor Donald Tibbs, “From Slavery to Hip-Hop: Punishing Black Speech and What’s ‘Unconstitutional’ About Prosecuting Young Black Men Through Art,” which appeared in 2017 in the Washington University Journal of Law & Policy.