Only woman in Democratic U.S. Senate field used to uphill battles

Written by on May 2, 2022

Only woman in Democratic U.S. Senate field used to uphill battles

By Hayden Mitman
May 2, 2022

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alex Khalil serves on Jenkintown Borough Council in Montgomery County. (Courtesy photo)

The only woman among Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, Alex Khalil, is mounting an uphill battle in a race where her competitors have spent millions to make sure their names are recognizable.

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For her part, Khalil said she’s focused on staying competitive as the May 17 primary election approaches.

In contrast to her competitors, Khalil has raised a mere $20,000 in campaign donations and has even been excluded from primary debates because of her low polling numbers.

But the IT worker and council member from Jenkintown, outside Philadelphia, is taking it all in stride. 

“Money is not the only indicator of success,” she said. “But, I can’t focus on that because if I do, then I’m not focused on doing good. So, any time I don’t get my name in the paper or there’s a debate I’m not invited to, we go out and we do good.”

Khalil, who is Muslim, believes that as the only woman on the ballot, she offers a unique perspective. As a breast cancer survivor, Khalil said she supports health care as a human right. 

“I’m the only one of my colleagues who have had early stage breast cancer, I’m the only one who gave birth,” she said. “You know, I’ve had these very ‘woman’ issues and health care means a lot to me.”

She also pledged to protect a woman’s right to have an abortion – something Republican lawmakers and candidates have opposed.

And, she’s passionate about improving schools.

Getting her message out has proven difficult, she said, claiming some aren’t giving her a fair shake since she’s not a frontrunner.

“That’s what I find frustrating. If you’re complaining about attacks on voters’ rights or you’re complaining about our democracy and attacks on the free press, and you’re engaging in those activities, you’ve lost my respect,” said Khalil.

For now, she said she’s going door-to-door to connect with voters personally before the primary.

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