Service to country was something Navy veteran Rachel Reddick learned from a young age and an ideal she continues to carry.
The lawyer and mother is using her Central Bucks County roots and experiences to mount a campaign to run for the Eighth District Congressional seat in 2018. The Democrat is the first one from her party to toss her name in the primary race. However, there have been rumblings in political circles that more Democrats are likely to announce a run in the coming months.
Reddick’s campaign announcement was relatively quiet. No big press event or weeks of loud rumors, just a slickly-produced announcement video posted online and two news reports.
However, the Democratic candidate has high hopes that she can become the next congressperson to represents the district, which includes all of Bucks County and a portion of Montgomery County.
Reddick moved back home to Bedminster Township with her husband Nick, a federal prosecutor, and 13-month-old son Sawyer in summer after living in Washington D.C. and serving in the Navy.
“The Eighth District is my home,” she said.
Once she found no other Democrats had yet stepped up to run for congress, she decided “I could be that person.”
Reddick describes herself as a Democrat who has strong feelings about National Security, Medicare for all and ways to improve Obamacare without a replacement.
“I am willing to work with every single person and plan. I want to hear from the people of Bucks County,” she told LevittownNow.com.
On the topic of National Security and the way Republican President Donald Trump handles foreign relations, Reddick said she had concerns.
““Those are my friends out there on the front line,” the Navy officer said.
“I think people are concerned whether the current president will tweet us into World War III.”
Reddick stated she feels incumbent Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, who is serving his first term after a career in the FBI, does not listen to the residents of the Eighth Congressional District.
“He only had one live town hall with pre-screened questions and limited seating,” Reddick said. “The people of the Eighth District can’t even talk to their own congressman.”
Fitzpatrick did hold several telephone townhalls and the questions at his lone in-person town hall were pre-screened by moderator Bill Pezza, who said at the time the congressman did not see the questions in advance. Democrats and even some Republicans have chided Fitzpatrick for his lack of in-person town halls since taking office 10 months ago.
“I’m here and ready to listen,” Reddick said. “I want to listen and have a conversation.”
The first-time candidate said she plans to start a conversation early. She had spoken with Democrats from all parts of the district and plans to meet even more of them as her campaign gears up.
Reddick said she is looking to make sure generations to can enjoy the American dream, access to healthcare and clear air and water.
Reddick earned a bachelor’s degree from Temple University and a law degree from Rutgers University. She worked as a legal aide at A Woman’s Place in Doylestown and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office in a unit that handled sexual assault and family violence issues.
Raised in Chalfont, Reddick grew up in a family where her grandfather and father were both in the Navy and her brother joined the Marines. After September 11, 2001, Reddick saw her brother’s service and got the urge to also serve her country. She served as a military prosecutor, advisor to a commander and had the chance to work with Marines and sailors one-on-one.
The Democrat is no longer in active military service but remains a reserve officer.
Like many Democrats in the region and Washington D.C., Reddick believes the district can be flipped from Republican control in the 2018 election.
“There’s a path to victory for Democrats in the Eighth District,” Reddick said.
Faced with a Republican president with low approval ratings and a split between Republicans that support Trump and those whose ideologies lean more with the party leadership, 2018 is expected to be an interesting election. Doylestown lawyer and Marine Corps. veteran Dean Malik has already announced he plans to challenge Fitzpatrick in the primary election. Democrats are hoping nationally that they can use those factors to gain a number of congressional seats currently held by Republicans. However, the relatively moderate Eighth Congressional District is always a major race for both Democrats and Republicans. Millions are expected to flow into campaigns over the next year as the race steps into high gear.
Fitzpatrick’s campaign said last week they would not discuss the election until it begins next year. However, campaign spokesman Mike Barley did state they welcomed all those running for the congressional seat.