Leslie Richards won't run for Gerlach seat

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Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards has pulled her name out of contention for Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District being vacated by Republican Jim Gerlach. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)

Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards has pulled her name out of contention for Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District.

Richards was one of at least four Democrats considering a run to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach, who is not seeking re-election.

Richards released this statement Monday:

"I am honored to have been asked to consider running for Congress, and I am extremely grateful for the outpouring of local and national support I have received over the last several days.  However, I love my job as a Montgomery County Commissioner, and I am proud of the role I have been able to play in putting Montgomery County on a positive trajectory. Even with our successes there is more work to be done. I am looking forward to continuing to serve the people of Montgomery County in the years to come."

Richards did not live in the district, so she would have had to move.  Even if she had, she might have been seen as an outsider in a district that primarily represents Chester County.

But Richards had the support of Chester County Democratic Chair Michele Vaughn, who told The Inquirer last week that " A moderate woman candidate with a successful governing and leadership ability, as well as fundraising ability, would be the strongest candidate."