New Democrat Coalition Communications Director Phil LaRue (D) has decided not to run for retiring Rep. Jim GerlachJim GerlachBig names free to lobby in 2016 Ex-Rep. Gerlach ditches K St. in return to campaign world Ex-Sen. Pryor heading to K Street MORE's (R-Pa.) seat after all.
"While I would be honored to have the opportunity to serve the people of Southeastern Pennsylvania, I've decided that I will not be a candidate in the Sixth District in 2014," LaRue told The Hill via email.
The southeastern Pennsylvania native and spokesman for the New Democrats, a group of 53 centrist House Democrats, had called The Hill to express interest in the seat just hours after Gerlach announced his retirement.
The slightly Republican-leaning seat is a top pickup opportunity for Democrats, who ideally would like to avoid a primary.
National Democrats had been backing businessman Michael Parrish before Gerlach dropped out and are still happy with his candidacy. Parrish, a former Republican and Army veteran, could be a strong candidate for them.
Marine veteran Manan Trivedi (D), who lost to Gerlach in 2010 and 2012, is also considering a bid, and some local Democrats have mentioned Chris Casey, the brother of Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), as a potential candidate.
On the GOP side, Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello (R) has already announced a bid. Others looking at a bid include Pennsylvania state Sen. John Rafferty (R), Chester County GOP Committee Chairman Val DiGiorgio, and Tea Party-affiliated former Senate and gubernatorial candidate Sam Rohrer (R), who national Republicans are nervous about.