Republican Rep. Mike Kelly looks to defend his seat against Democratic challenger Kristy Gnibus in Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District

Mike Kelly

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Republican incumbent Rep. Mike Kelly faces off against Democratic challenger Kristy Gnibus in Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District.

The candidates

Kelly is a car dealership owner and is a former city councilman in Butler where he sat on the Housing Authority Redevelopment Authority of Butler County. He served as the representative for Pennsylvania’s 3rd Congressional District for four terms before being redistricted to the 16th Congressional District. 

In 2018, he narrowly beat out Ronald DiNicola by 4.3 points — the closest election of his political career.

Gnibus is a teacher, cancer survivor, and is currently a PhD student at Gannon University. Her campaign platform is centered around criminal justice reform, combatting climate change, and bringing affordable healthcare to Pennsylvanians. 

The district

Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District is located in northwestern Pennsylvania. The district is home to parts of Butler, Crawford, Erie, Lawrence, and Mercer counties as well as the cities of Erie, Sharon, Hermitage, Butler and Meadville.

The state’s congressional map was redrawn in 2018 after by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that the state’s previous congressional map was unconstitutionally gerrymandered to favor Republicans. 

Trump would have overwhelmingly carried the district under its current boundaries by 18 points, 58% to 40%, over Hillary Clinton in 2016, according to the Daily Kos.

The money race

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Kelly has raised $1.65 million for his campaign, over 8 times more than Gnibus’ $195,000. Kelly also currently holds a considerable cash on hand advantage over his opponent. He has $1 million left to spend as the November election nears compare to Gnibus with just $58,000 remaining.

What experts say

The race between Kelly and Gnibus is rated as “likely Republican” by the Cook Political Report and “safe Republican” according to Inside Elections and Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

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Source:: Business Insider


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