Gerlach Retires, Rumors Fly For PA-6

Rep. Gerlach
Rep. Gerlach

Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Chester) announced Monday that he would not seek reelection in the 6th district.

One Democrat had recently filed with the FEC to run against Gerlach: Mike Parrish. Parrish is a veteran, engineer, entrepreneur and West Point grad who lives in Malvern with his family. Since PA-6 was practically built for Gerlach reelection, he didn’t face much competition in the Democratic primary, but now that it becomes an open seat, he may see bigger named opponents that were previously scared of facing Gerlach.

According to Cook Political Report, the 6th District is R+2 and even though Gerlach won handily in 2012 after redistricting, Romney didn’t do as well. Gerlach took 57.19% of the vote over Dr. Manan Trivedi while Romney carried the 6th district with just 51.32% of the vote.

This is now a more competitive seat and Democrats will likely make it a big target in 2014. State Senator Judy Schwank (D-Berks) could make a play for the nomination, and it’s possible that 2012 contender Dr. Manan Trivedi would try again for the 6th district, even though he is a resident of the 7th.

New Democrat Coalition Communications Director Phil LaRue, a West Chester native, has expressed interest in the seat.

Senator Bob Casey’s brother, Chris Casey lives in the district and is another name in the rumor mill for the Democratic nomination.

Despite previous murmurs that Katie McGinty would run for this seat, her campaign confirmed that she has absolutely no interest in running for Congress and is focused solely on the governor’s mansion.

PA-6 is a seat districted for a Republican and they certainly won’t give up on it. Former US Senate candidate Sam Rohrer, who also lives just outside the district, would be a likely candidate as well as Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello or Chester County Republican Chairman Val DiGiorgio. Frequently mentioned State Senator John Rafferty told PoliticsPA that he just learned of the seat, but definitely hasn’t ruled out a run.


9 Responses

  1. Why did S. Rohrer give up a seat he can win? To play Don Quixote for the cause?He never passed on a big government perk he could not use.

  2. Two other GOP-names whispered to me are Barry DiLibero and Jonathan Jenkins; regarding some other comments, it is possible that people who had said they weren’t interested in competing with Gerlach may suddenly want to seek an open seat.

  3. No legislator especially Rafferty who voted for the 2nd highest tax increase in the history of PA, the 28 cent per gallon gas tax hike makes it through a Republican primary for Gerlach seat.

  4. Points uploaded on a separate website are focused on the GOP, but are relevant here, as well.


    I do not live in the district, but I can convey two items-of-interest regarding this situation…and a third “memory.”


    I remember meeting Sam when he was running ~4 years ago and asking him a question regarding ObamaCare’s constitutionality; he was thoughtful and added a consideration regarding the Commerce Clause that I hadn’t weighed [Article I Section 8]. It didn’t turn-out to be a force in the Roberts opinion, but it did convey the impression that he knows his stuff and he is eager to share; I’m told that he enjoys his work, however, and may not wish to campaign.


    I met John Rafferty a month ago @ the GOP Committee-Person convention and found him to be extremely helpful in amending a bill that would mandate Holocaust/Genocide/Human-Rights education; he was a man-of-his-word [after he had researched the issue] and–following a chat with Mike Vereb, led the effort to “get this thing done” by supporting an amendment in the Senate Appropriations Committee that changed “may” to “shall”…and thereby mandating the education transpire.

    [This did not constitute an unfunded mandate and did follow established statutory precedent (Chapter 4 of Title 22); detailed analysis may be found by hyperlinking from serial-sites @ the bottom of page 129.]

    I must add that, if memory serves, he was being touted to run for AG until Corbett pushed Freed, two years ago; it would appear (although Guzzardi hasn’t “weighed-in”) that he is not part of the “insider network” but relates with it (in a fashion comparable to how I have noted Mike Vereb interacting).


    Finally, those with long-memories may recall that Curt Schroder was the front-runner for this nomination in 2010 [notwithstanding Steve Welch, whose smarmy video defending GOP Back Room Politics explains why I repeatedly expressed disdain for his existence DIRECTLY to him, whenever he couldn’t be avoided].

    Again, I’m told he is a happy camper as Senior Vice President at The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania; nevertheless, he was perceived as “next in line” by the great majority of Committee-People in Chester County and, thus, should be perceived as a possible-candidate.


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