Mee­han wins fourth term in 7th Dis­trict for U.S. House

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Kath­leen E. Carey kcarey@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @dt­busi­ness on Twit­ter

Vot­ers in the U.S. 7th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict chose to re­turn U.S. Rep. Pa­trick Mee­han, R-7, of Chadds Ford, to Wash­ing­ton, de­feat­ing over his Demo­cratic op­po­nent, Mary Ellen Balchu­nis, by a vote of 118,550 to 83,306, ac­cord­ing to un­of­fi­cial re­sults.

“This is the fourth time we’ve had a chance to be here to­gether in this room and I leave each time hum­bled by your sup­port and ap­pre­cia­tive of the great re­spon­si­bil­ity we have,” Mee­han said.

In ac­cept­ing his vic­tory Tues­day night at the Spring­field Coun­try Club, he ac­knowl­edged his sup­port­ers and other lo­cal Repub­li­can can­di­dates.

“We have a frac­tured na­tion for sure, with a great num­ber of chal­lenges ahead of us,” Mee­han said, “but I un­der­stand as you do too as long as we stay in touch the pulse of our peo­ple and our com­mu­nity will make the right de­ci­sions to make this na­tion for­ward.”

Over at the Inn at Swarth­more, Balchu­nis also thanked her sup­port­ers in an­nounc­ing her de­feat.

“We fought the good fight and we fought it a clean fight with Con­gress­man Mee­han,” she said. “We stayed on the is­sues. I’m proud of the cam­paign that we put for­ward. I’m ex­tremely proud of my team, my cam­paign man­ager.”

This wasn’t the first time these two have faced each other.

In 2014, Mee­han and Balchu­nis vied for the same spot with Mee­han emerg­ing the vic­tor. It was a seat he has held since 2011, af­ter for­mer Navy Ad­mi­ral Joe Ses­tak who pre­vi­ously held the po­si­tion, un­suc­cess­fully sought a U.S. Se­nate spot.

To get to the Novem­ber bal­lot, Mee­han faced Mont­gomery County busi­ness­man Stan Casa­cio and Balchu­nis fought two con­tenders at one point, Bill Golderer of Broad Street Min­istries and Ch­ester County Mil­lenial Lindy Li.

In Wash­ing­ton, Mee­han, 61, serves on the House Ways and Means Com­mit­tee, its Over­sight and Hu­man Re­sources sub­com­mit­tee, the House Ethics Com­mit­tee and the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives’ chief taxwrit­ing com­mit­tee.

He has also chaired the House Home­land Se­cu­rity Com­mit­tee’s Sub­com­mit­tee on Cy­ber­se­cu­rity.

Prior to his Wash­ing­ton ser­vice, Mee­han was the U.S. at­tor­ney for the Eastern Dis­trict of Penn­syl­va­nia. Prior to that, he served as Delaware County Dis­trict At­tor­ney and in that ca­pac­ity, he formed the In­ter­net Crimes Against Chil­dren Task Force. For two years, he also was a ref­eree in the Na­tional Hockey League.

He lives in Chadds Ford with his wife and their three sons.

Balchu­nis, 62, is a po­lit­i­cal sci­ence pro­fes­sor at La Salle Uni­ver­sity and a Ful­bright Scholar. She was also ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of The Re­source Cen­ter for Hu­man Ser­vices and was an as­sis­tant to a Philadel­phia mayor.

She lives in the Ard­more sec­tion of Haver­ford.

Dur­ing the cam­paign, she ac­cused Mee­han of voic­ing op­po­si­tion to Don­ald Trump late in the elec­tion cy­cle when polls were not in the GOP nom­i­nee’s fa­vor. Mee­han, who said he was writ­ing in vice pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Mike Pence for pres­i­dent, was one of the Delaware County Repub­li­can of­fi­cials who pub­licly called on Trump to end his cam­paign in mid-Oc­to­ber.

Dig­i­tal First Media writer Rick Kauff­man as­sisted with this re­port.

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