The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee confirmed that it is talking to Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards about a run for PA-6.
“We have spoken with Leslie along with several other people in the district, including Michael Parrish,” DCCC Spokesman Marc Brumer told PoliticsPA. The DCCC has not yet decided which candidate they will be supporting and are in the early stages of talking to several individuals in the district.
Parrish, the declared candidate in the race, a veteran and engineer from Malvern, is the only declared candidate in the race so far. He started raising money for the campaign even before Gerlach announced his retirement.
“This has all come about in the last couple days,” Richards said. “I do love my current job but I am seriously considering it.”
Richards confirmed that Emily’s List has also approached her. Emily’s List is a campaign organization that promotes pro-choice candidates.
“This race is an exciting opportunity to build on the momentum for more women’s leadership across the state,” Emily’s List spokesperson Marcy Stech said. “We are talking to a number of qualified Democratic women who could represent the families of the Sixth District.”
Richards is the vice chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Elections, secretary of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and a member of the SEPTA Board.
She lives in the 13th district*, a few miles outside the seat where she would run. The law allows any Pa. resident to run for any congressional seat, regardless of their residency.
Working to her advantage in the 6th district is that 23.3% of registered voters in PA-6 live in Montgomery County, so many voters have seen her name on a ballot before.
Other Democrats considering a bid for the seat are physician and former candidate Manan Trivedi, who lives in the 7th District, State Senator Judy Schwank, New Democratic Coalition spokesman Phil LaRue and Downingtown Mayor Josh Maxwell.
According to Cook Political Report, the district is R+2 which definitely makes it competitive as an open seat.
Republicans potentially vying for the seat are State Senator John Rafferty, former Senate candidate Sam Rohrer (who lives just outside the district), as well as Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello or Chester County Republican Chairman Val DiGiorgio.
*The original version of this story said that Richards resides in PA-7.