Pa. Democrats eye US House seat Gerlach's leaving

Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., questions ousted IRS Chief Steve Miller and J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, as they testify during a hearing at the House Ways and Means Committee on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) practice of targeting applicants for tax-exempt status based on political leanings on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Friday, May 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

January 14, 2014 11:14:18 AM PST
Two Democrats say they're eyeing the U.S. House seat in southeastern Pennsylvania that's being vacated by veteran Republican Rep. Jim Gerlach.

Mike Parrish, a businessman and retired Army officer from Chester County, launched his campaign Tuesday, while state Rep. Mark Rozzi of Berks County formed an exploratory committee for a potential bid for the 6th District seat.

Two Republicans, Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello and Chester County GOP Chairman Val DiGiorgio, have said they're considering running.

Gerlach, a sixth-term lawmaker, announced last week that he plans to step down at the end of his term in next January.

Republican-drawn redistricting changes that took effect after the 2012 election resulted in the 6th District gaining Republican voter registration and losing Democrats. It includes portions of Chester, Montgomery, Berks and Lebanon counties.