Democrat Mike Parrish has dropped out of the race for the congressional seat being vacated by Pennsylvania Republican Jim Gerlach.
Parrish is throwing his support to physician Manan Trivedi, who was the Democratic nominee in each of the last two elections.
Trivedi hadn’t been planning a third try for the seat, but re-evaluated after Gerlach’s surprise announcement in January that he wouldn’t seek another term. At the time Parrish, a former Republican, was the only announced candidate for the Democratic nomination.
After Trivedi entered the race and started getting support from county Democratic organizations, Parrish decided to exit the race.
“I have come to realize that an expensive and contentious Democratic primary fight would seriously risk our party’s ability to win this seat in November,” Parrish said in a statement. “I am therefore suspending my campaign in order to join with Manan Trivedi to help ensure that a Democrat is elected in November.”
Parrish’s departure leaves Trivedi unopposed in the May party primary. He’ll face Republican Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello in November, with the winner going to Washington.
The district includes much of Chester County, along with parts of Montgomery, Berks and Lebanon Counties.
Gerlach comfortably won re-election in recent years in the district that leans Republican, but the open seat has been targeted by both parties as a battleground this fall.