State Sen. Daylin Leach launched his campaign Tuesday for the seat being vacated by Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, who has indicated she will run for governor of Pennsylvania.
"For the last several weeks," Leach, a Democrat, said in a statement, "I have been talking with voters, community leaders, elected officials, representatives from advocacy groups and progressive organizations, and many others from Philadelphia and Montgomery County, and found overwhelming support for my candidacy."
There will likely be a crowded primary field for the open 13th District, a safe Democratic district based mostly north of Philadelphia. Leach is the third candidate to take formal steps to enter the race — although he is the first to formally announce a campaign.
Last month, Valerie A. Arkoosh, a medical professor at the University of Pennsylvania, filed paperwork for her candidacy. Former Philadelphia City Controller Jonathan Saidel followed with his own paperwork to run at the end of March.
Other Democrats mentioned as potential candidates include state Rep. Brendan Boyle, state Sen. Michael Stack and Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro.
Leach's press release noted that in 2012 he served as chairman of the state Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, which assisted in flipping three GOP-held seats. He also "led the fight for women's rights, access to reproductive services, LGBT equal rights, workers' rights, access to justice, environmental protection, and voters' rights."
The Philadelphia Inquirer noted Leach also garnered national attention for his legislative efforts to decriminalize marijuana.
Leach, a Temple University graduate, lives in Upper Merion with his wife and two children.