Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Chester) announced yesterday that he would not be seeking reelection in PA-6 and SEPA politicos are a-buzz with potential candidates for the open seat.
Democratic state Senator Judy Schwank (D-Berks) is one name frequently mentioned for the seat and she confirmed to PoliticsPA that she’s considering a run.
“Many people have been reaching out to me about running for Congress,” Schwank told PoliticsPA. “While I’m not closing any doors, right now I’m focused on my work in the state Senate.”
2012 Democratic challenger Manan Trivedi also gives us reason to believe that he’s seriously considering a run with this cryptic tweet yesterday accompanied by a picture of flowers, “Need to have a big discussion with my wife tonight. Bought these in advance.”
PoliticsPA is seeking comment from Trivedi, who was a vocal supporter of Schwank’s in 2011 when she was first elected. Trivedi technically lives in Congressional District 7, but that does not prohibit him from a run in 6.
Before Gerlach even announced retirement, one Democrat had filed with the FEC to run: Mike Parrish. Parrish is a veteran, engineer, entrepreneur and West Point grad who lives in Malvern with his family.
New Democratic Coalition spokesman Phil LaRue also told PoliticsPA that he was interested in the seat as a West Chester native.
“It’s my true home, and I wouldn’t be doing everything I can for the community I love if I didn’t consider it,” he said.
A new prospect on the Democratic side is Downingtown Mayor Josh Maxwell. Maxwell was elected mayor in 2009 when he was just 26, making him the youngest mayor in the borough’s history. He was named Best Young Politician by Philadelphia Magazine in 2011 and had just declared his candidacy for HD-74, before the Gerlach seat opened up.
“I’m honored by the notion that people would want me to represent them in that capacity, and it’s a sign that what we are accomplishing in Downingtown is getting noticed. Furthermore, this seat represents a great opportunity for Democrats,” Maxwell told PoliticsPA. “Right now, I’m committed to serving the Downingtown Community, and focusing on my campaign for the 74th State House district where I can tackle the issues facing Western and Central Chester County.”
On the Republican side, State Senator John Rafferty (R-Montgomery) continues to be a favorite name. He told PoliticsPA that he just learned of the seat, but definitely hasn’t ruled out a run.
A rumor that Daylin Leach would abandon his run for the Democratic nomination in PA-13 to jump over to PA-6 is false.
Former US Senate candidate Sam Rohrer would be a likely candidate, even though he lives right outside of the district, as well as Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello or Chester County Republican Chairman Val DiGiorgio.
The seat is a mere R+2 and is likely to be among the most hotly contested in Pennsylvania and the nation.