He hadn’t planned on it, but after Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach decided not to run for re-election, Democrat Manan Trivedi has decided to take a third run at Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional district.
Trivedi, 39, was the Democratic nominee against Gerlach in 2010 and 2012. His 14-point loss to Gerlach two years ago after a spirited campaign seemed to have convinced Trivedi that the seat wasn’t winnable.
But Gerlach’s sudden announcement that he won’t run again set Trivedi on a month-long reconsideration culminating in a decision to give it a third try.
“It’s a very different race with Congressman Gerlach out of the district,” Trivedi said in a phone interview. “I have to give him credit. He’d built up a strong name recognication and he had a stong following. Now that he’s gone it’s a much more wide open opportunity.”
But Trivedi’s belated entry has complicated things. Another candidate, former Republican and businessman Mike Parrish has announced he’ll seek the Democratic nomination, earning kind words from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Marc Brumer, who said last week Parrish was the only candidate the DCCC is talking to.
Trivedi said he’s also been speaking to the DCCC, and that he’d spoken with Parrish over the weekend and did not ask him to get out of the race.
“I’d love to have him on my team,” Trivedi said, “but this is a democracy, and who am I to tell someone what to do with their life?”
Trivedi’s announcement news release includes a long list of prominent Democrats who will support him, clearly intended to get the party united behind his effort.
Parrish was a registered Republican as recently as December, and a website put up by the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee notes that he contributed $1,000 to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.
In a statement Parrish said he welcomes Trivedi to the race and looks foward “to a spirited discussion about our ideas for creating more economic opportunities for the middle class.”
The Democratic primary is May 20. Republicans have united around Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello for the seat, which includes most of Chester County and parts of Montgomery, Berks and Lebanon counties.