Peter Welch

Congressional challengers use bill backed by drug companies against incumbents

As a drug and alcohol counselor and the mother of two young boys, Judy Herschel never considered running for political office. That was before Congress approved legislation in 2016 that hampered the Drug Enforcement Administration's enforcement efforts against the opioid industry.

In one month that summer, Herschel lost eight of her clients to opioid overdoses. She left her job and launched a full-time campaign against the politician she holds responsible for the legislation: its chief sponsor in the House, Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa.

"It's a big reason why I chose to run," Herschel, 41, said as she campaigned for the Democratic nomination last month in a neighborhood not...