On November 2nd, Republican incumbent Jim Gerlach is attempting to win his fifth term as Pennsylvania’s 6th District congressman. He is running against Democratic candidate Manan Trivedi. Pennsylvania’s sixth district includes parts of Montgomery, Chester, and Berks counties. The largest cities in the district are Norristown and Reading.
Gerlach, who defeated primary candidate Patrick Henry Sellers, with 80 percent of the vote, was originally going to run for the Pennsylvania Gubernatorial seat in 2010. In January, The Times Herald reported that Gerlach was having difficulty raising enough money for governor and that he would seek re-election of his 6th district congressional seat. Though no clear independent polls have been held for this race, CQPolitics.com and realclearpolitics.com, state that the seat leans toward the Republican candidate.
Democratic candidate Manan Trivedi, an Iraq War veteran and health care policy advisor to President Barack Obama’s campaign, is attempting to be elected to his first political office. He currently works as a physician in Reading, PA. Trivedi won the Democratic primary by just over 600 votes against Doug Pike, a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial writer and son of Long Island congressman, who according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, spent more than $1 million on the race.
The key issues in this race are many of those that face all Americans. The candidates point to their opponent’s views on health care, financial reform, and job creation.
– In regard to health care, Gerlach voted against the recent health care reform, while According to the Times Herald, he stated,” The $1 trillion bill would result in a huge tax increase on small businesses that will lead to an explosion of our national debt.”
-Gerlach voted against “Wall Street Reform”.
-Gerlach believes job creation can come through lower taxes and less regulation on small businesses.
-Trivedi does not feel that health care reform went far enough because it did not include a public option.
-In response to Gerlach’s vote against the reform bill, Trivedi stated in a press release, “Jim, what you did today was attempt to punish both consumers and small business owners … all in just one vote, and all because you wanted to protect the high finance special interests who have been funding your elections for over 20 years.”
-Trivedi thinks that tax incentives need to be given that encourage expansion and hiring. Also he believes we need to invest more in education and infrastructure.
As the election date gets closer, expect this race to heat up and take more of a national spotlight. Gerlach has been elected by narrow margins in each of the prior 4 elections, his largest victory being just over 4 points, and winning by as little as 1.4 percent of the vote. Yahoo reports that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has added Trivedi to its “Red to Blue” campaign to claim important congressional seats. Before redistricting in 2002, the 6th district was represented by Democrats for 40 years. Therefore, as November 2nd approaches we can expect a lot of pressure from Democrats to have Manan Trivedi take the seat from Republican incumbent, Jim Gerlach.