The Republican candidate in the 7th U.S. Congressional District special election this November will be Pearl Kim, the GOP nominee for the 5th Congressional District race the same day.

Kim, a former senior deputy attorney general of Pennsylvania and special victims unit prosecutor, was selected by Republican conferees Wednesday evening to fill the vacancy left in the 7th district by former U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-7 of Chadds Ford. Meehan resigned in April after a controversy because he used taxpayer money to settle a harassment claim brought by a former female staffer.

Gov. Tom Wolf then called for a special election to be held in conjunction with the general election on Nov. 6.

Kim thanked her supporters

“I appreciate the support and faith placed in my by the conferees,” she said. “My parents came to the United States from South Korea with next to nothing to pursue the American dream. I intend to fight to ensure that future generations have that same opportunity.”

She expressed her reservations about the move toward socialism in the United States.

“I am greatly concerned by the current political climate in our country, particularly the rise of the democratic socialist movement,” Kim said. “Socialist and communist economies do not work. North Korea, where the people are starving and suffering from massive human rights violations and Venezuela, which is undergoing an economic collapse, are just two current examples that illustrate that point. In contrast, South Korea is flourishing with one of the strongest economies in the world.”

She said it was her own history that led her to believe the role of the government is to serve people and that the role and scope of the federal government needs to be limited.

“As a fiscal conservative, I believe we need to hold the line on taxes and eliminate wasteful spending,” Kim said. “We need to reduce excessive regulations and red tape to support our small businesses which are the economic engine and backbone of America.”

She added that the borders need to be secure and immigration laws need to be enforced while at the same time having Americans be compassionate to the plight of others.

“And we all need to work together in combatting the opioid crisis because if we don’t find better treatment and improve access to treatment, we run the risk of losing a generation of Americans,” Kim said.

The Democrats picked May Gay Scanlon in May as their 7th district candidate.

Her campaign issued a statement after Kim’s 7th district candidacy was announced.

It read, “Pat Meehan’s resignation from office, amidst an ethics investigation into sexual harassment allegations and his use of taxpayer dollars to settle them, has left constituents in the old PA-7 district without a voice in Congress.

“Recognizing this, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party chose Mary Gay Scanlon as their nominee nearly 70 days ago, so that voters have time to vet her, like they did in the competitive primary in the new PA-5,” it continued. “Since then, Mary Gay has been meeting voters in the district and connecting with community leaders.”

Scanlon’s campaign likened Kim’s designation to presidential politics.

“The GOP’s decision to delay nominating their candidate resembles similar behavior that we’ve continuously seen from this administration, where political gamesmanship trumps democracy on the list of priorities,” they said. “PA-7 constituents deserve better and Mary Gay looks forward to continuing to meet them and the opportunity to fight for them in Congress.”

This will be the final election for the 7th Congressional District as it currently exists. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court redrew the districts earlier this year following a gerrymandering lawsuit and a large portion of the 7th district is in the new 5th district. Both Kim and Scanlon are running in the 5th district race as well.

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