Summer Lee Elected First Black Woman To Congress For Pennsylvania

Progressive Democrat Summer Lee won election to the House during the 2022 midterm. 

Defeating Republican candidate Mike Doyle in the 12th Congressional District race, Lee became the first Black woman elected to Congress from Pennsylvania.

Lee is familiar with being the center of history-making headlines. In 2018, she was the first African-American woman from the region elected to the state House in Harrisburg. 

“We fought. We built coalitions. We brought together people who had never worked together on campaigns,” Ms. Lee said late Tuesday evening, calling her campaign a “multicultural, multi-generational movement.”

The lawyer and former labor organizer significantly outraised her opponent, receiving $1.41 million, as opposed to Doyle’s $173,132.

Lee, told ESSENCE ahead of the election “I’m running to increase wages to keep up with inflation, pass paid family and medical leave, ensure every worker has the right to organize and form a union, and raise taxes on corporations and billionaires so we can finally invest in working families across the country.”

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Republicans sought to paint the 34-year-old as an extremist, a radical and a socialist. Doyle’s campaign capitalized on an image of Lee at a weekend rally with Sen. Bernie Sanders(I-VT).

Doyle released a statement conceding to Lee, saying he’s reached out to congratulate her. He thanked his supporters and said he looks forward to continuing to serve in Plum. Doyle is expected to retire following this loss.  

Lee’s historic win compliments Democrat John Fetterman’s victory over Dr. Mehmet Oz. This defeat for Pennsylvania’s Senate is a pivotal flip of a Republican-held seat. 

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