EXCLUSIVE: Democratic Congressional Candidate Made Switch From Republican Party Before Campaign

Rachel Reddick at a demonstration outside Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick’s office
Credit: Erich Martin/NewtownPANow.com

The lone Democrat to announce her campaign for the Eighth Congressional District was registered as a Republican until recently.

Voter registration records confirm that candidate Rachel Reddick of Bedminster previously was registered as a Republican for most of her adult life, a fact her campaign admitted when questioned by NewtownPANow.com Tuesday evening.

“I am a proud Democrat and have considered myself one for over a decade. However, I grew up in a Republican family in a conservative community. When I turned 18, I registered to vote as a Republican.  However, for over 10 years I have considered myself a Democrat and done my best to support and vote for Democratic candidates, even while serving in the U.S. Navy.  For me, the election of Donald Trump was the moment when I realized that I must continue to serve,” she said in a statement.

Reddick added: “I want to be crystal clear, I am a proud Democrat.  I am dedicated to progressive values, like universal access to healthcare, a fair and just economy and tax plan, protecting everyone’s civil rights, taking better care of our veterans, reasoned and accountable national security, and fact-based environmental policies.  As such, I will fight every single day to ensure we move our community and country forward.”

The party affiliation change for Reddick happened in late summer, not very long before she announced her campaign. However, the news began to circulate recently in Democratic circles.

An email that purports to be from Bucks County Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia, who is also chair for the Board of Elections, was circulated to reporters via screenshot Tuesday afternoon. The email details a timeline of Reddick’s switch from Republican to Democrat. It also claims that county records show Reddick missed voting in person or by mail-in ballot in several elections. An email to Ellis-Marseglia to verify the message was sent and was not returned as of press time. Reddick’s campaign did not wish to comment on the email or its validity.

Bucks County Democratic Committee Chair John Cordisco did not wish to comment on the development when reached by phone Tuesday evening.

The Naval reserves member and attorney has received a luke-warm reception in Lower Bucks County, according to numerous local Democratic officials, all of whom did not want their names published. Although, one Democrat noted, that is often the case “to a degree” when a candidate from Central Bucks County is introduced to lower county party officials and members.

“Why didn’t she just come out and say this right out of the gate?” another local Democratic official asked.

“This isn’t going to help her now that she’s backpedaling,” they added.

Reddick has made outreach efforts and recently announced a listening tour to hear concerns from residents across the Eighth Congressional District in Bucks County and a portion of Montgomery County. She was recently at a demonstration outside incumbent Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick’s office in Middletown and marched in the Newtown Holiday Parade.

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. She was raised in Chalfont and grew up in a military family. Following the attacks in 2001, she witnessed her brother’s military service and joined the Navy. She served as a military prosecutor, advisor to a commander and had the chance to work with Marines and sailors one-on-one before transiting to a reserve officer.

Prior to announcing her run for congress, Reddick moved to Bedminster Township with her husband Nick, a federal prosecutor, and 13-month-old son Sawyer after living most recently in Washington D.C.

While Reddick is the only announced Democrat in the race, several party sources have indicated this week that one or two other Democrats are eying a bid.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for five years for both newspaper and online publications. In 2012, Tom was honored at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation's Keystone Press Awards for his coverage of President Obama's visit to Falls Township in 2011. When he's not covering news in the area, Tom enjoys checking out the newest restaurants and bars, exploring forgotten places of industry in the area, going to local parks and spending time with his friends and family. If there's one thing you should know about Tom, he is a local news junkie through and through. Email: tom@newtownpanow.com Phone: 215-431-1001