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Mann to Retire; Wide Primary Field to Replace Her

By Brittany Foster and Keegan Gibson

Pa. Rep. Jennifer Mann announced Monday that she will not seek re-election to represent the Allentown-based 132nd district.

Mann was elected in 1998 where she succeeded then-Pa. Senator Charlie Dent, now a Congressman. She serves as the House Democratic caucus secretary, a member of the Democratic Leadership Council Leadership Team, and as the chairwoman of the DLC’s State Legislative Advisory Board.

“Serving the people of my home town in the General Assembly has been an honor and privilege. However, the time has come for me to move on to new challenges and a new path,” Mann said in a statement. “I never intended the House of Representatives to be my career, but I am eternally grateful to the people of Allentown for putting their faith and confidence in me throughout my tenure.”

Mann’s decision comes as a surprise to many, even insiders, so the behind-the-scenese battle to replace her is just forming. Five of Allentown’s seven City Council members reside in the new iteration of Mann’s district, along with a host of professionals, attorneys and more who may take an interest in the safely Democratic seat. Simply put, the primary will be a free-for-all.

Councilman Mike Schlossberg, 27, is a former aide to Mann who multiple insiders say has the inside track at the support of her organization.

Several sources within the Democratic caucus initially named Peter Schweyer as a likely successor. Schweyer, 32, is Allentown City Council’s Vice President and Mann’s chief of staff. However, he resides in south Allentown, which is currently represented by Justin Simmons and will likely end up in the newly drawn, majority Latino 22nd district.

Schweyer ruled out “district hopping,” but said he was considering a bid for State Rep. in the 22nd.

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