Does living two miles outside District 6 limits make Manan Trivedi out of touch with his potential constituency? According to the Gerlach for Congress camp, it does.
In a recent press release, Senior Adviser to the Gerlach for Congress campaign Vince Galko argued that Gerlach, himself a transplant from western PA’s Lawrence County, is better suited to represent the District in which Trivedi was born and raised — the reason being that the Democratic challenger no longer lives or works full time within PA-06 limits.
Trivedi and his family did, in fact, reside within the district until recently when lines were redrawn and their part of the PA map was bumped, by about two miles, into District 7 — but the Gerlach camp is still determined to cast their opponent as a stranger to CD-6.
“Manan Trivedi last week popped in his car and drove from his 7th Congressional District house in Union Township and into the 6th Congressional District to launch a series of ‘House Call’ events designed to promote his campaign. The listening tour actually allowed him to quickly get a handle on just what voters in this foreign district care about most,” read a press release from Team Gerlach.
But the Trivedi camp made another point. Trivedi could have also thrown on some Nikes and jogged into District 6, arriving for his ‘House Calls’ in about 25 minutes (although he would have probably been quite sweaty).
Interestingly enough, Gerlach’s own political history is marked with accusations of being an outsider.
In his successful 1990 run against incumbent State Rep. Sam Morris, Gerlach was accused of moving from Lawrence County in southwest PA to Chester County just to win a political office. He had lost a race back in Ellwood City four years earlier.
Pot…Kettle…Black? Perhaps, says Trivedi’s supporters.
But the Gerlach camp isn’t just miffed that Trivedi doesn’t live inside the lines.
They’re also citing Trivedi’s liberal views and recent employment with a hospital in Washington, D.C. as evidence that he won’t meet the needs of PA-06 voters.
“Not only does Trivedi not live or work in the district, but in conversations with voters he’ll come to understand that his liberal values are way out of step,” said Galko. “His support for higher taxes on small businesses, a socialized medicine scheme far beyond Obamacare and his opposition to pro-growth policies that will create jobs fit better in San Francisco than southeast Pennsylvania. Frankly, they were disqualifiers two years ago, and will be again in November.”
According to Daren Berringer, senior adviser of the Trivedi for Congress campaign, Trivedi took a job at a D.C. hospital in order to allow his family to be closer together while his wife is working as a material science engineer in D.C.
Berringer said Trivedi and his wife wanted to raise their daughter in Berks County, however, so they bought a house there in 2009, around the time he got out of the Navy – but kept the D.C. home for his wife’s job.
The Trivedi home in Berks County was part of the 6th Congressional District when it was purchased, as well as during Trivedi’s 2010 run for Congress and up to the start of the current election cycle.
“Dr. Manan Trivedi and his wife Surekha are working parents. And any time that
Congressman Gerlach would like to learn a little bit more about health care and the needs of patients in the community, he is more than welcome to come pull a shift with Manan,” Berringer said.
There is no law that prohibits political candidates from living or working outside the district in which they are running for office, although it tends to strike a sour note with voters to live outside district lines.
Trivedi may have more right to be mad than anyone. Although he is not barred from running in PA-06, he can’t even vote for himself come November.