Democrats will have another contested congressional primary in southeast Pa.
Physician and veteran Manan Trivedi will run for the Democratic nomination in PA-6, several Democratic sources told PoliticsPA. It will be his third attempt at the seat.
Lebanon County Democratic Committee Chairman Chris Tarsa said Trivedi would officially announce his bid on Tuesday.
“He will announce tomorrow,” Tarsa told PoliticsPA. He said he is backing Trivedi.
“We are looking forward to an open primary and I think we have two candidates with great skill sets. But I think Trivedi has the time and money invested with his previous efforts.”
Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Chester) announced in January his intent not to seek re-election in 2014, moving what had been considered a safe Republican seat into the top tier of competitive congressional races nationwide.
Trivedi ran unsuccessfully against Gerlach in 2010 and 2012, losing by 14 points each time. The district was made 5 points more favorable to Republicans during redistricting in 2011. It now comprises parts of Berks, Chester, Lebanon and Montgomery counties.
Trivedi made the rounds at Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee meeting last weekend. When asked at state committee whether Trivedi was considering another run, he declined to answer outright.
He did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday’s announcement.
Update: after PoliticsPA broke the news of Trivedi’s impending announcement, the candidate confirmed his plans to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Several Democratic leaders and operatives told PoliticsPA that Trivedi had informed them that he would be running again; one specifically stated that he recently conducted a poll in the district.
This reporter watched him have a beer with Mike Parrish, the other Democrat in the race for Gerlach’s former seat.
Also a veteran, Parrish graduated from West Point and spent 13 years as an Army aviator. Parrish, 50, is the CEO of Daleco Resources Corporation energy company in West Chester. He lives in Malvern and has three children.
This week he received the endorsement of Rep. Bob Brady (D-Philadelphia) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently headlined a fundraiser for him.
A Democratic source said that internal polling showed a 40% to 40% tie between a generic Republican and Democrat in the district.
But Parrish has baggage in a Democratic party. He recently switched parties from Republican to Democrat. He gave $1,000 to Mitt Romney in 2012 and $2,000 to John McCain in 2008. Perhaps most damaging this cycle, gave $2,000 to Tom Corbett in 2010.
Update: Parrish commented on Trivedi’s entrance into the race.
“I welcome Manan into the race and I look forwarded to a spirited discussion about our ideas for creating more economic opportunities for the middle class. And I have confidence that voters in the primary will select the strongest nominee to ensure a Democrat wins this very tough district in November,” he said.
Trivedi, 39, served as a battalion surgeon in the U.S. Navy in Iraq. He lives in Birdsboro, Berks County with his wife and child. He works in the Pottstown Memorial Hospital. Republican map-makers drew him out of the 6th district by a few hundred feet in 2011.
He is no stranger to competitive primaries; he overcame Doug Pike by about 700 votes out of 42,000 cast in 2010. He ran as an unabashed progressive in both of his previous races.
The winner of the primary will likely face Republican Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello in the general election.