New Democrat Coalition Communications Director Phil LaRue (D) has decided not to run for retiring Rep. Jim GerlachJames (Jim) GerlachThe business case for employer to employee engagement 2018 midterms: The blue wave or a red dawn? Pa. GOP 'disappointed' by rep retiring after filing deadline 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. 


LaRue is the latest Democrat to consider a run before passing. Pennsylvania state Sen. Judy Schwank (D) and Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards (D) have also said they won't run.

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.