Office running for: U.S. Senate
Article by Alisher Aminov
Candidate Profiles allow candidates to speak directly to their constituency and answer questions specifically related to the offices they are running for. All candidates listed on Lebanon County ballots have been contacted for an interview. Subsequent profiles will follow in order of candidate response.
Alexandria (Alex) Khalil is a candidate running for United States Senate to replace outgoing Senator Pat Toomey. I will break down this article into two parts: 1) background information and 2) her candidacy for U.S. Senate.
Alex Khalil was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, and transitioned to Pennsylvania as a child. She is the daughter of immigrants who moved to the United States and later became small business owners of a clothing store.
Khalil has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology, a Master of Science in Library and Information Science, and a Juris Doctorate (Law Degree).
Currently, she works as an IT professional for a pharmaceutical company where she tests the safety and practicality of lab and computer systems for trials and testing, ensuring that the company does things safely and properly.
Khalil said that of the candidates running alongside her in the primary, she is the only one who currently holds a job outside of government and must work traditional hours while managing a campaign.
“I had to turn down a speaking engagement tomorrow because it’s scheduled for 1:00 |p.m.| and I have commitments for my job at that time,” she said.
Khalil said, “What shocks me is that these guys are participating in debates and forums during the day; they should be working … that annoys me; they are taking time out from their duties to do this.”
Additionally, as an attorney, Khalil has a small private practice where she helps people with small business law and works pro bono to help people gain guardianship of their children with disabilities.
Currently, Alex Khalil is a Council Member on the Jenkintown Borough Council, an unpaid position she has held for nearly three years.
She said she was initially going to run for school board when the local school announced they were $500,000 in debt. However, Alex believed that more options were available to solve these issues that did not involve increasing property taxes.
Khalil said, “everything was on the taxpayers of Jenkintown, and what I found was that for years they hadn’t gone and looked for grants, the competitive grants, that everything was the taxpayer, taxpayer, taxpayer.”
Ultimately, however, when a vacancy opened on the Jenkintown Borough Council, Khalil was asked to fill in before a special election could be held, to which she agreed. She has since been elected to the office two times.
Candidacy For U.S. Senate:
Alex Khalil is the only female Democratic candidate on the ballot for any statewide position. When asked what that means to her personally, she said that while she takes great pride in being a representative for women, she does not believe that it is something people should focus on.
Khalil believes the issues are most important, and she wants to make sure she is presenting the best platform that she can.
However, Khalil believes that the Democratic Party has displayed an inconsistent track record of supporting female/minority candidates in the same way they do for male candidates.
When asked what three legislative issues are crucial to her campaign, Khalil said she is devoted to 1) Medicare for All, 2) Education Reform, and 3) Manufacturing. She said that another issue equally important to her is addressing homelessness.
She said that if elected and could pass any piece of legislation instantly, she would pass legislation to reform Medicare, turning it into Medicare for All.
Alex Khalil believes that she is uniquely qualified in these areas because of her extensive experience within her various fields and her focus on finding the root cause of issues instead of simply identifying them.
Khalil said that Medicare for All is significant because she knows first-hand how hard it is for families to get by when a loved one suddenly wakes up one day and learns they have a pre-existing condition.
She shared that when she was a child, her mother became sick, and what ultimately saved their family business was a government program that provided her mother with the care she needed to get better.
Khalil also said that she was diagnosed with breast cancer several years ago. While she found that her employer was sympathetic to her ailment, she watched as those she knew lost everything they had because they had developed a medical issue, and their work would not support them.
Khalil also said that many of her opponents often talk about specific issues without getting into the core of their proposed solution. One such issue that she expressly referred to was the Climate Crisis.
She said that her opponents often talk about the importance of diversifying and branching to renewable energy sources such as wind or solar but rarely talk about how the industries that produce those energy generators often do so using environmentally damaging means.
She said that because of the way this technology is produced – they are alternative energy instead of clean energy producers. Khalil believes that the best way to begin addressing climate change is to focus on cleaning up pollution and regulating the companies that are the leading cause of the problem.
When asked how her campaign differs from other candidates running, Alex Khalil said that she has the real-life experience, unlike many others. For example, she said that when other candidates talk about manufacturing and outsourcing jobs, they don’t know what that looks like in the professional business world.
Khalil said she has experience in manufacturing and outsourcing and knows first-hand what the processes look like from a corporate perspective.
She said, “None of these other guys have worked in manufacturing. None of them have experienced the job of outsourcing, none. So they know nothing about seeing people being told they have to ‘train somebody so that we can then outsource the job’ for cheaper labor; it’s not better labor, it’s cheaper.”
Khalil also said that, unlike many of her opponents, she is not afraid of the concept of working with Republicans. She said that if Republican legislators are unwilling to compromise on an issue, she is willing to go directly to their Republican constituents and talk about the issues and legislation at hand.
“I am not afraid to go to Republicans. Everyone talks in Washington, that’s not the key. The way to get Republicans to come to your way is to go to your Republican constituents and |…| have these conversations directly with them,” Khalil said.
Khalil said an issue that she believes needs to be addressed in the Senate immediately is campaign finance reform. She believes that a lack of campaign finance reform is the direct cause of grandstanding within the legislative chamber, and if we hope to get things done, we must first hold our Senators to higher standards.
In closing, Alex Khalil said that if elected, she plans to be bold and push as hard as she can regardless of whether it looks good going into a second term. She said that her priority is to get things done, and she won’t let the prospect of additional time in the Senate deter her from saying what she believes needs to be said and doing what she believes needs to be done.
Khalil said, “I’m willing to be bold, and I don’t care if I win a second term,” she added, “if I can go in there and change things, then that’s what it’s all about.”
When asked what she would like to say directly to her constituents, she said, “Tell me the issues that are important to you. What should I fight for? What |issue| keeps you up at night, and I promise you, we’ll work together to resolve those issues.”
You may find more about Alex by going to her campaign website https://www.alexkhalilforussenate.com/