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