Fiedler Changes Face of 184th District

Filed under: Featured News,South Philadelphia,South Philly |

SURROUNDED by a successful team, Elizabeth Fiedler was able to conquer the 184th Legislative District in South Philadelphia. Meet the team from L-R: Amanda McIllmurray, campaign manager; Katie Longo, field director; Patti Jeppson, campaign staff; Fiedler; and Hugo Cortes, community-outreach coordinator. Photos by Eldon Graham

By Eldon Graham
Elizabeth Fiedler emerged triumphantly as the winner of the 184th Legislative District after running a well-crafted and strenuous campaign. After announcing her candidacy over a year ago, Fiedler’s long journey from the newsroom to hitting the campaign trail was finally realized on an historic election day in Philadelphia when she was announced as state representative-elect along with several other new faces.

Mayor Jim Kenney gave a congratulatory message to election-day victors. “I wish to congratulate Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov.-Elect John Fetterman on their well-deserved victory, as well as members of the General Assembly for earning re-election. I also congratulate State Representatives-elect Joe Hohenstein and Elizabeth Fiedler, as well as Congresswoman-elect Mary Gay Scanlon on their victories. I am confident that they will serve the constituents of their districts well,” the mayor said.

MAYOR Jim Kenney stopped by to congratulate Fiedler on a job well done in becoming State Representative-elect of the 184th District.

Being a first-time candidate is hard, but Fiedler handled the responsibility with grace and a stern conviction. “It was amazing and challenging,” the former WHYY reporter said. “I think we need to do more to support people who want to run for office for the first time because some of the logistics can feel overwhelming, but if you have the support structure in place, that helps you get through most of those things and you have a candidate that wants to work hard surrounded by good people, anything is possible.”

Learning the routines of running for office, Fiedler finally had a chance to examine her journey into the other side of politics. “I’ve learned that a lot of people really want to be more involved and really want to work real, real hard.” Surrounding herself with good and dedicated people is one of many reason she had the opportunity to celebrate on election night.

To those who also aspire to one day win a seat in office, Fiedler had some words of encouragement. “A lot of people want to work hard; they just don’t know how to get involved. They just feel like the process is closed, they just don’t feel like they are welcomed in it,” she said. “People want to get more involved, they are afraid of our politics right now, some of the things that are happening at a national and state level. They want to be part of making sure they have basic things, good health care, good education, things that are important to all of us.”

Fiedler is the first female Democrat to hold the 184th seat, which encompasses most of South Philadelphia east of Broad Street. However, she still believes there needs to be improvement in political representation in several demographics.

“Pennsylvania needs to have more women in elected office. We are one of the worst states for women in any level in elected office in the entire country,” Fiedler said. “We as women deserve to have our life experiences represented in every single level of government, whether we are talking about transportation or we are talking about health care, education, taxes. As women, our lived experiences should be in the room, we should have a seat at the table. The same is true for a lot of other people who are underrepresented when it comes to politics: people of color, working class people and immigrants. All sorts of people who, like women, see their number too low in terms of representation in our elected politics.”

The state representative-elect also wanted to send out a heartfelt thanks to the many people that voted for her. “To the people who voted for me, I would say: ‘Thank you.’ It is a tremendous honor and responsibility, it will be my honor to represent the people of south Philly and across Pennsylvania.”
In the meantime, Fiedler is looking forward to catching her breath after a long hard-fought campaign and spending some well-deserved quality time with her family before she is sworn into office.

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