Pennsylvania state Rep. Mary Jo Daley of Montgomery County has decided to drop her bid for the newly created 4th Congressional District centered on Montgomery County.
And two of the 14 Democratic candidates running in the 5th District in Delaware County also have decided to call it quits.
Daley was one of four Montgomery County Democrats seeking the party’s nomination in what national analysts say is likely to be a Democratic win in the general election.
In a statement, Daley said she’s spent much of her career encouraging women to get into politics.
“After reviewing the state of the race and the current Democratic field of candidates — three women and one man,” Daley said, “I realized that we would be facing a bitter and costly campaign that could very well lead to blowing a rare occasion to elect a strong, progressive woman from Pennsylvania to Congress.”
Daley threw her support to her friend and fellow state Rep. Madeleine Dean, who had backed a lawsuit challenging Daley’s nominating petitions.
Dean recently reported that she has raised $409,000 for her campaign, a substantial total for the relatively short time she’d been a candidate.
Dean was originally running for lieutenant governor, but switched her sights to Congress when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court redrew all the state’s congressional boundaries in response to a gerrymandering case.
Daley’s decision comes after the legal deadline for withdrawing from the race, so she will have to petition Commonwealth Court to remove her name from the May 15 ballot.
Whether such petitions are granted often depends on practical considerations, including the progress county election officials have made in preparing the ballots for voting machines and absentee voters.
Also in the 4th District Democratic primary are former CeaseFire PA director Shira Goodman and former Congressman Joe Hoeffel.
In a statement, Dean thanked Daley for her support. Daley “has defined what it means to be a passionate advocate for supporting women and training them to run for office,” Dean said.
Delco field loses two
Meanwhile, Delaware Democratic Party deliberations have spurred the departure of two in the crowded field of 14 candidates seeking the party nomination in the 5th District. The district consists of Delaware County and small sections of Philadelphia and Montgomery County.
Attorney and former CIA agent Shelly Chauncey announced at Sunday night’s party convention she was withdrawing and endorsing former federal prosecutor Ashley Lunkenheimer.
Attorney George Badey, who was the party’s congressional nominee from Delaware County in 2012, also announced he was withdrawing. Badey had said he wouldn’t continue his campaign if he didn’t get the party’s backing.
Party committee members cast four ballots at the convention at Upper Darby High School, but no candidate received the 55 percent of votes required for an endorsement.
The leading candidate on the fourth ballot was attorney Mary Gay Scanlon, with 218 votes out of more than 500. Lunkenheimer was second with 155 votes.
There are two candidates in the Republican primary: attorney Pearl Kim, who has the Delaware County GOP’s endorsement, and businessman Paul Addis, whose nominating petitions are the subject of a court challenge.