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Mary Gay Scanlon

Party: Democrat
Position: National Representative, District 5
Vice-chair: Judiciary
Member: Rules; Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress
In office since: 2019
Next election: 2020
Previous occupations: National Pro Bono Counsel at Ballard Spahr; Attorney at the Education Law Center; President of a local school board; Co-chair of the Voting Rights Task Force of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel; Judicial Clerk for the Superior Court of PA
1535 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515


  • Generally supports increasing federal funding for public education

  • Supports policies to make higher education, including career and technical schools, more affordable

  • Supports reforms to student loans


  • Views healthcare as a human right

  • Supports universal healthcare through a Medicare-for-all system

  • Supports policies to expand access to reproductive healthcare

  • Supports policies to lower prescription drug prices

  • Supports rehabilitation treatment options for those addicted to opioids

  • Supports punishing predatory opioid manufacturers

  • Opposes cuts to Medicare and Medicaid

  • Supports expanding Medicare to include long-term care for seniors and those with disabilities

Public safety

  • Supports an assault weapon ban, age limit for gun purchases, a universal background check system, and “red flag” laws that allow law enforcement and health professions to remove guns from dangerous individuals

  • Supports federal funding for research to reduce gun violence

Civil rights

  • Supports policies for equal pay for men and women

  • Supports policies that protect the right to an abortion and reproductive healthcare

  • Generally supports LGBTQ rights

  • Supports allowing same-sex marriage

  • Supports the Equality Act, which expanded the Civil Rights Act


  • Opposes cuts to Social Security

  • Generally opposes “tricks-down economics,” and instead supports public investment in infrastructure and programs

  • Supports raising the minimum wage

  • Supports unions and the right to organize labor

  • Supports policies that enact paid family leave

  • Supports affordable housing, healthcare, and nutrition programs, early childhood education, and the Earned Income Tax Credit as a means of assisting those in poverty


  • Opposes the Trump Administration’s immigration policies, including closing private detention facilities

  • Supports reforming the immigration process to make it easier and simpler to receive documented status

Governance and ethics

  • Supports reforming redistricting to end gerrymandering

  • Supports policies that increase access to voting

  • Opposes voter suppression tactics, and view Voter ID laws as voter suppression

  • Helped develop Maine’s ranked choice election system

  • Wants to strengthen the Voting Rights Act

  • Supports automatic voter registration

  • Supports campaign finance reform

Criminal justice reform

  • Wants to eliminate mandatory sentencing

  • Supports defunding private prisons

  • Generally opposed to mass incarceration

  • Supports restoring voting rights to ex-felons

  • Generally in favor of redirecting incarceration to mental health, education, job training, and other rehabilitative programs when possible


  • Supports rejoining the Paris Climate Accord

  • Supports increasing funding for the Environmental Protection Agency

  • Wants to establish the US as a leader in environmental protection

  • Supports investing in clean and renewable energy


  • Scanlon was elected during a confusing time of shifting districts. First, the PA Supreme Court ruled PA Congressional Districts as unconstitutionally gerrymandered, and ordered a temporary redistricting that shifted which districts represent Philadelphia. Then, she won a normal general election, but then the incumbent stepped down, so she won a special election for the same seat, which was previously District 7. She has now assumed her current role as the normal, full-term official of the current, temporary District 5.