Like many voters in Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, Republican industrialist Lisa Scheller has a lot on her plate. Besides running her aluminum pigments manufacturer, Silberline Manufacturing, and being a twice-divorced mother of two, she’s also seeking to unseat Democrat Susan Wild. Both candidates for the seat have deep ties to the region—both are long-time residents and both have built impressive careers here. But they have very different wealth profiles.
Wild, who was elected in 2018, has a $174,000 yearly salary. Scheller, whose grandfather immigrated to the United States from Eastern Europe at the beginning of the 20th century, has made her fortune in the aluminum industry. The company she founded in 1945 now employs more than 600 people worldwide. She’s also a multi-millionaire thanks to her role in the company and investment income, and she has pledged to donate her entire congressional salary to veterans’ causes in the Lehigh Valley if elected.
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As of late, Scheller has raised more than $1 million in the campaign. Those figures are from the first fundraising disclosures that she and all other congressional candidates must file, which covered money they raised or spent between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 of last year. She has more cash on hand than Wild, who reported raising $340,000 and spending $102,000 in the same period.
According to her financial disclosure statement, Scheller’s assets are worth between $5 million and $25 million. That’s largely due to her company’s lucrative partnership with Boston-based hedge fund Baupost, which paid her between $1.1 million and $7 million in 2021. Silberline also has factories in China, which earned her between $2 million and $8 million in the same year.
The Democrat has a number of other investments as well. She has between $2.1 million and $7.1 million invested in 14 mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. She also owns between $3 million and $10 million in individual stocks, which is more than a dozen times her annual salary. She has no plans to sell those shares if she’s elected to Congress, but she says she may “look into” placing them in a blind trust, so they wouldn’t influence her decisions as a legislator.
During the campaign, Scheller has focused on her business and economic policies and her personal story. She’s spoken out about her struggle with heroin addiction and homelessness and has worked to raise awareness of the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania, which has some of the highest overdose rates in the nation. She’s also a gun rights advocate who’s supported concealed carry reciprocity and signed Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. She’s also called for curbing the influence of PACs and supporting school choice. She’s also opposed to woke cancel culture and believes in prayer. You can support Pay Dirt, which exposes the pigpen of political funding, by subscribing here. We’ll send a new issue to your inbox each Thursday.