Lisa Scheller announces bid for Congress
Allentown resident and Tamaqua businesswoman Lisa Scheller has announced she is running for Congress next year in the 7th Congressional District.
The district includes Lehigh and Northampton counties and part of Monroe County.
Speaking to supporters at the Renaissance Hotel, Allentown, Scheller read a statement touching on her personal history, business experience, community service and her philanthropical work.
Notable was her pledge to serve only four terms, or eight years.
Describing herself as an “outsider who can bring real change to a gridlocked Congress,” she reminded the attendees she has served as a Lehigh County commissioner at-large where she had been elected chairwoman of the board.
Scheller served on the board of commissioners for four years, ending her tenure in 2015. She was board chairwoman for two years.
Scheller, a Republican, was voted into office following a 16-percent tax hike in Lehigh County.
Scheller will be running against Republican Dean Browning, who has indicated his intent to seek the GOP nomination. Browning is also a former Lehigh County commissioner.
Scheller said part of her motivation to seek the Republican nomination for a seat in Congress, a position now held by Democrat Susan Wild, is because the district “has been overlooked amid divisive partisan battles in Washington.”
Scheller said she will address issues that matter to people here — jobs, education, health care, secure borders.
As to jobs, she is president and CEO of Silberline Manufacturing in Tamaqua. The company makes pigments used in paint.
Silberline was founded by Scheller’s grandfather, Ernest Scheller.
Scheller said her company has 600 employees and has manufacturing and technical and research centers in North and South America, Europe and Asia.
Education, one of her issues, is furthered by her and her family’s philanthropic efforts.
She donated money for construction of the Lisa Jane Scheller Student Center at Lehigh Carbon Community College and sponsors an eponymous scholarship, the Lisa Jane Scheller Technology Scholarship.
Her mother and father established the Roberta and Ernest Scheller Jr. Foundation scholarship at LCCC.
Scheller said she is “committed to reforming our educational system,” but offered no details about any plans, saying only “student loans are out of control.”
Concerning health care, she offered no plan for reform other than to promise she would ensure pre-existing conditions remain covered for all people.
Scheller blamed the Affordable Care Act for soaring insurance premiums and called the bill “another well-intentioned government disaster.
“As a provider of health insurance for hundreds of people here in Pennsylvania, I know firsthand what that means.”
Scheller said border security is not about “intolerance.”
“This isn’t about keeping people out,” Scheller said. “It’s about letting them in, in ways that give them full purchase to the American dream, identity and the rule of law that has made this the greatest nation on earth.”
She also touched on what she described as her own past addiction as a young woman to drugs and her recovery.
“I’m not ashamed of my addiction and I empathize with people [and their families] who struggle.”
Scheller last year opened a coffee shop, Hope & Coffee, in Tamaqua, which employs people “recovering from addiction and helps them re-enter both the community and the workforce.”
Scheller took a standing ovation from her supporters as she concluded her remarks.
“I will carry your values with me to Washington.”
Scheller has lived in Lehigh County since 1987 and has lived in Allentown for more than 20 years.