Trivedi Talks 2012, Redistricting & Medicare

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

The country is coming into a Presidential election year, PA’s congressional districts are set to shift, the GOP House majority has a track record, and Manan Trivedi has a 15 month-old daughter.

A lot has changed since Trivedi lost to Rep. Jim Gerlach by 14 points last November, but the physician and Iraq War veteran’s resolve to unseat the Congressman remains.

Tom Fitzgerald of the Inquirer broke the news that Trivedi has decided on a rematch against Gerlach. PoliticsPA caught up with the once and future candidate to talk about the challenges he’ll face in 2012.


Gerlach has repeatedly thwarted Democratic efforts to capture his seat, despite the GOP disadvantage in voter registration. He won Trivedi’s home county of Berks by about 14,000 votes – 20 percent – in 2010. Most observers expect that PA’s 6th congressional district will become more conservative during this year’s redistricting process, moving north and west to pick up more rural parts of Berks County.

“No one can predict what the lines are going to look like. It’s a very politicized process, and that’s a shame. All I can do is run the best campaign I can, and focus on the issues that matter to me.”

“That could be something I could leverage. If there’s more Berks County in there. I’m from Berks, born and raised in Berks County. Berks County hasn’t had a congressman since 1992, and I think Berks wants someone who has the county and Reading’s interest at heart.”

Trivedi said he would run against any Republican depending on the final lines. He ruled out a primary to Rep. Tim Holden.

“I’m going to focus on the issues. Regardless of where I am and what district I’m in, that won’t change. But if you look at the map, I’m in the heart of the 6th district. It’s unlikely that will change.”

“I respect Congressman Holden, he’s a good Congressman. I’d challenge him in a basketball game, maybe.”

His 2010 primary opponent, former Inquirer writer Doug Pike, has frequently been seen at Democratic events statewide. However, Pike lives in Paoli in southeastern Chester County, and is expected to end up in the 7th district.

What’s Different?

“The electorate has seen what they get with the Republican majority in Congress. It’s out there now. Before it was a vague notion. Look at the Ryan budget. Look at their posturing over the debt ceiling. Look at how they’re running their caucus.”

“It’s a presidential year. The turnout has gotta be better than 2012. The climate has gotta be better than 2010, because it can’t get much worse. That was one of the worst years for Democrats since WWII.”


Trivedi criticized the House GOP for pursuing an “ideological agenda” and not focusing on the economy. He echoed recent Democratic arguments about Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget and its proposed changes to Medicare – which Rep. Gerlach has wholly embraced.

“A subject that’s near and dear to my heart is health care, and Medicare specifically,” he said. “I’m an internist – a primary care doctor at Reading hospital. Most of my patients are reliant on Medicare. If we adopted the Republican plan for Medicare, which Jim Gerlach has endorsed, these people, my patients, would be given a few bucks and kicked to the curb.”

“His vote for the Ryan budget will end Medicare as we know it, and at the same time, continue to give bigger and bigger tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires, and keep large loopholes for big corporations and oil companies.”

What’s next?

Trivedi says he’s attending local events – picnics, pancake breakfasts, parades, etc. He’s talked with his former staff and supporters about his 2012 plans.

“In just the last 12 hours, we’ve gotten so many messages. It’s incredible.”

He said that national and statewide party leaders have been, in a word, encouraging.

“The DCCC has been very encouraging. Allyson Schwartz has been very encouraging. Congressman Israel has been encouraging. They’ve been supportive of me getting in this thing.”

6 Responses

  1. Ancient wisdom: All it takes for bad ideas to succeed is for good people to do nothing. At least Trivedi is trying. What is amazing is that so many people are voting against their own economic best interest by voting for Gerlach and the Republican agenda he so loyally supports. Republicans lie about health care. Republicans squandered a trillion-dollar surplus, created the Iraq and Afghanistan debacles which still are draining billions of dollars per month, and are trying to shred the social safety net, for example by trying to privatize Social Security (by requiring people to risk their retirement savings entirely in the stock market, which lost massively in 2008 because of lousy derivatives bets, and because of failure to banking regulators, who allowed no-doc loans in the housing market). Republicans, including Gerlach, have stymied registering the derivatives which still put the U.S. financial market at risk, and now want to roadblock all regulatory enforcement, giving corporations total license to pollute and put workers at risk (H.R. 4078, which Gerlach supports). Republicans have no jobs plan. Their mantra still is “trickle-down economics”, which results in concentrating more wealth at the top and is draining the middle class of investment opportunities, since the really rich don’t invest in job-making businesses. Robert Reich tells it like it is. Read his blogs and archives.

  2. If it’s so easy to defeat Rep. Gerlach, surely it would have been done already. Let’s ask Congresswoman Lois Murphy about that, why don’t we?

    Dr. Trivedi is the kind of person any Democrat should want in Congress for many reasons, but particularly since he actually has relevant experience in two of the most important issues of our time (health care and national security).

  3. Also, in almost none — if not completely 0 — of the precincts where Manan was a candidate did he perform the best of the Democrats. He was always either outpolled by Onorato or Sestak or the state leg candidates. That’s not the sign of a strong campaign.

  4. All I can do is run the best campaign I can, and focus on the issues that matter to me.

    That’s solid messaging there, doctor. Manan Trivdei is the result of the progressive netroots conducting a purity purge of Doug Pike for the simple reason that they didn’t like him.

    I hate to break it to Dr. Trivedi, and to PA-6 Democrats, but he lost by about 15 points in a D+4 district. Granted, it was a terrible year for Democrats nationally, but it wasn’t a close race. Patrick Murphy lost by 8 points — arguably 6 because of the absentee ballot fiasco in Bucks — in a D+2. Dan Maffei lost by .4% in a D+3. Joe Sestak lost the state of PA — which has a PVI of D+2 by about 2 points. Manan underperformed horribly. He never had enough money to go on the air, and only won the primary by mercilessly smearing Pike.

    Gerlach’s already won re-election.

  5. His resolve may be undiminished, but his political viability is forever tarnished by his resounding landslide defeat last year. A bag of garden fertilizer with a “D” emblazoned on it would have pulled as many votes.

    In this article, Trivedi rehashes his claim that he works at Reading Hospital. A search for him on the hospital’s on-line directory fails to reveal the good doctor, however. Is Trivedi still a Berks resident when, and only when, it pleases him politically?

    Manan Trivedi is as washed up as driftwood.

  6. It seems Gerlach and Dent always manage to keep their seats and our candidates get their *sses handed to them. It wait to see the polling before i dumped any money into these races. If it is close, as it may well be in a presidential year, they may be worthy… but if its like a ten or 15 point race, i wouldnt put any into it.

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