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PA-6: Republicans Rafferty and Collins Decide Against Run

Sen. Rafferty
Sen. Rafferty

The field for the Republican nomination in Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District is shrinking rapidly.

State Senator John Rafferty (R-Berks) told PoliticsPA that he would not be running.

“I’m running for the 44th,” he said. Rafferty represents the 44th Senatorial District and is up for reelection in 2014.

Just as quick as it began, Patrick Collins’ exploration of a congressional campaign has ended.

Collins, an executive at the biotech company CSL Gehrig and a fundraiser for Rep. Gerlach, announced in an email to reporters on Sunday January 12th that he was considering running in the GOP primary for the 6th district. On Saturday the 18th, however, Collins responded that he had ultimately decided not to pursue a campaign.

“Over the past week I have had the chance to speak with many friends, colleagues, and community leaders within the 6th congressional district regarding a potential candidacy to seek the Republican nomination,” Collins wrote. “These conversations were terrific in highlighting to me both the potential benefits and hazards of running for the GOP nomination.  After such discussions, it became clear to me that the Republican Party is coalescing around Ryan Costello as the preferred candidate for the nomination.”

Upon considering the electoral landscape, Collins decided that he did not want to launch a divisive primary challenge that could harm the Republican Party’s chances to retain the seat. Therefore, he announced that he will support Ryan Costello’s quest for the nomination.

Collins was always internally divided on the question of running, seeing Gerlach’s surprise retirement as both an unprecedented opportunity and a potential burden on his expanding family.

“Not running for Congress will also allow me to be the best husband to my wife and best father I can be to our first child, who is expected in early May,” he asserted. “I cannot think of two higher purposes in which to strive.”

And then there was one: Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello stands alone in the prospective Republican primary to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Jim Gerlach. He has the backing of Chester County GOP Chairman Val DiGiorgio and it seems as though the party has coalesced around his run.

The Democrats, on the other hand, are not nearly as cohesive. State Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks), Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone, Manan Trivedi and State Senator Andy Dinniman (D-Chester) are all still considering (or at least, haven’t ruled out) a run against declared candidate Mike Parrish in the Democratic primary.

Brittany Foster contributed to this report.


6 Responses

  1. now if only Democrats could fall in line the way Republicans do they might actually win tough seats. But alas Dems specialize in eating their own.

  2. @13DistDem, it’s no different than the situation with Dinniman. They’re both State Senators with districts inside the 6th. Neither of them have said anything publicly on the matter. Rightly or wrongly, it’s kind of presumed that they’re next in line and the rest of the political world will respect that pecking order. I personally think it’s imprudent to run a candidate of their age (Rafferty’s 60 and Dinniman’s 68/69 according to Wikipedia). They’ll never attain committee seniority or a leadership role and you’ll lose incumbency when they retire in a few years.

  3. A) Was John Rafferty ever considered a candidate? Isn’t this like *me* saying I’m not running for PA-6?

    B) What is in about PA-6 that scares so many people off on both sides of the aisle?

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