Pennsylvania: Democratic Businessman Has Gerlach to Himself

Posted February 26, 2008 at 6:38pm

Democrats have their candidate to take on Rep. Jim Gerlach (R) in southeastern Pennsylvania. Businessman Bob Roggio (D) has cleared the primary field to take on the three-term Member, according to a release by the campaign.

Roggio was endorsed by the Montgomery County Democrats last week, prompting fellow businessman Mike Leibowitz and former state Sen. Bob Rovner to drop out of the race.

“I’m thrilled to have the support of Bob Rovner and Mike Leibowitz,” Roggio said in a statement. “The 6th district is ready for a real change, and ready to unite around a candidate who can defeat Jim Gerlach. We need someone with real world experience in order to tackle the tough problems that are facing our district, and our country.”

Gerlach holds on to one of the few remaining districts in the country that voted for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) in 2004 but still send a GOP Representative to Congress. He faced attorney Lois Murphy in 2004 and 2006, winning by small margins both times.

Roggio only recently entered the race, and it remains to be seen whether he can be competitive with Gerlach — financially and otherwise.

Optometrist Can’t See Path to Primary Victory

Optometrist Davis Haire has dropped out of the three-way GOP primary in the 10th district, citing an inability to raise funds due to his late entrance into the race. Two wealthy businessmen, Dan Meuser and Chris Hackett, are left running for the Republican nomination and the opportunity to face freshman Rep. Christopher Carney (D).

“I recognize the uphill climb our campaign has against the money of Mr. Hackett and Mr. Meuser, but I am hopeful that whoever the Republican nominee is, he is able to articulate a winning conservative message of lower taxes, tough borders, affordable healthcare and protecting our family farms,” Haire said.

Haire said in his news release that he would not endorse any other candidate in the April 22 primary at this time.

The sprawling northeastern Pennsylvania district had consistently elected Republicans for decades until Carney defeated disgraced Rep. Don Sherwood (R) in 2006.

Hackett owns and manages OneSource Staffing Solutions, a staffing company. Meuser owns Pride Mobility Products, which manufactures motorized wheelchairs.
— Shira Toeplitz