U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz has not officially announced her plans to run for governor in 2014 and not seek reelection to her 13th District seat in parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County. But that has not stopped the rush to replace her in the U.S. House.
State Rep. Brendan Boyle of Northeast Philly announced Tuesday morning that he has hired two former staffers from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a few hours before state Sen. Daylin Leach held a conference call with reporters to announce his candidacy for the 13th District. Leach said Schwartz's public comments about her interest in the Democratic primary election for governor made him comfortable declaring for her seat.
“I think she’s been very clear," Leach said. "Allyson Schwartz is a serious person. I don’t think she talks about running for governor frivolously. I think she means it."
Schwartz has said she will not run for reelection to the House and governor at the same time next year. Leach, a member of the state House for five years before winning a state Senate seat in 2008, said he will keep his state office while running for Congress. His current term runs through 2016.
Leach's pitch for Congress starts with a very personal story about his childhood, growing up fatherless in Northeast Philly and being put into foster care homes when his mother could no longer care for him and an elderly parent. Leach said good teachers and access to public libraries during tough times in his childhood "literally saved my life."
“So I’m running to make sure that everyone is included in the prosperity and wealth of America," Leach said. “The economy can’t just work for a few people at the top while everyone continues to struggle more and more.”
Leach and Boyle recently spent a week in Israel as part of a legislator's trip to the region. He said they teased each other about potentially facing each other for Schwartz's seat. “I am not running against anyone, " Leach added. "I am running for the issues I care about.”
Boyle on Tuesday said he had hired a former political director and former finance director for the DCCC. His announcement was short on details about their new duties and did not mention Schwartz's seat.