One of Pennsylvania's most conservative anti-immigrant lawmakers, Rep. Scott Perry, is in increased danger of being ousted in November.
Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), a far-right ideologue who is one of the most staunchly anti-immigrant members in all of Congress, looks to be in danger of losing his seat in November.
A recent analysis from CNN caused the organization to change their rating of the seat in favor of Democratic opponent George Scott. The district was previously “Likely Republican,” and is now merely “Lean Republican.”
In their reasoning, CNN points to redrawn Pennsylvania districts. Previously, Perry represented an illegally gerrymandered district that supported Trump by 21 points. The new, fairer district contains many more voters who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Perry’s radical pro-Trump views may have played well in a safely Republican district, but they could endanger him in this newly drawn district.
Perry is a member of the far-right Freedom Caucus, and part of a cadre of lawmakers who helped scuttle any opportunity at immigration reform in Congress. When some Republicans were working on legislation to bring along moderates and maybe even Democrats, Perry was loudly rejecting the efforts, saying the possible deal wasn’t restrictive enough.
Conservatives like Perry were demanding funding to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, an idea opposed by most Americans. During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised Mexico would pay for the wall.
Since coming to power, Trump has instead relied on anti-immigrant hardliners in Congress, like Perry, to try to get U.S. taxpayers to fund the unpopular idea.
When the Trump administration began tearing immigrant families apart at the border, Perry refused to offer any criticism. Instead, he praised the Trump administration efforts, saying, “While illegal activities on our borders that exploit children and our resources aren’t new, the enforcement of our laws is.”
Perry has a long history of anti-immigrant views, including meeting with an anti-Muslim hate group. Unsurprisingly, Perry supported Trump’s Muslim Ban and has opposed efforts to allow refugees from countries like Syria into the United States.
It is not only Perry’s fringe views that place him in political danger. Scott raised more campaign cash than Perry in the last fundraising quarter, according to CNN, often seen as a sign of voter enthusiasm.
Election experts at the Cook Political Report initially rated Perry in a safe Republican seat. Since February, Cook has downgraded Perry’s chances twice, moving him first to “Likely Republican” and now to “Lean Republican,” the same as CNN.
Whereas Perry is part of the partisan Freedom Caucus, Scott has expressed interest in joining the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.
“We can’t just continue the path of demonizing the opposition,” Scott told Politico. “We have to make progress in a bipartisan way.”