Political rookie shopping for the right district

     Lindy Li, the 25-year-old Democrat who said she'd run against Republican U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan, now intends to run in the 6th District against freshman Republican Rep. Ryan Costello. (Twitter.com/lindyli)

    Lindy Li, the 25-year-old Democrat who said she'd run against Republican U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan, now intends to run in the 6th District against freshman Republican Rep. Ryan Costello. (Twitter.com/lindyli)

    As 2016 opens, Democrats hoping to unseat Republicans from a couple of congressional seats representing the suburbs west of Philadelphia are making their moves.

     

    Lindy Li, the 25-year-old Democrat who’d announced she’d go after Delaware County Republican U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan, has changed her plans.

    Li now says she’ll run in the 6th District where freshman Republican Rep. Ryan Costello will seek re-election.

    What changed?

    In November, Bill Golderer, a pastor who founded the Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia, entered the race for the 7th District seat now held by Meehan. La Salle University professor Mary Ellen Balchunis, who ran two years ago, was already in. A little crowded, maybe.

    In the 6th District, which includes parts of Chester, Berks, Montgomery and Lehigh counties, businessman Mike Parrish is an announced Democratic candidate who’s losing steam, according to a report last month in Roll Call.

    A spokesman for Li told the Inquirer’s Jonathan Tamari that Golderer’s entering the race had nothing to do with her decision to change districts.

    Both the 6th and 7th are Republican-leaning districts, but conventional wisdom holds that Democrats stand a better chance running in a presidential election year.

    We’ll see – the deadline to enter the race is Feb. 16.

    Some local races

    Ben Waxman, the former journalist and, until recently, an aide to Philadelphia state Sen. Vincent Hughes, is running for the Center City state House seat currently held by state Rep. Brian Sims. Sims is simultaneously running for re-election and for the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, who’s facing federal corruption charges.

    Waxman filed a campaign report showing $73,000 on hand as of Nov. 23. (Disclosure: I know Waxman – we worked for the Philadelphia Daily News at the same time.)

    Waxman has company in the race, though.

    Marni Snyder and businesswoman Marisa Piccarreto have also announced they’re running.

    And in another interesting wrinkle, Chris Brennan of the Inquirer reports that Sharif Street, son of former mayor John Street, may run for Philadelphia state Sen. Shirley Kitchen’s seat if she retires next year.

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