Another Dem goes neutral in the 6th District
State Representative Josh Shapiro (D-Montgomery) has decided to pull his endorsement of congressional hopeful Doug Pike, making him one of the most high-profile Democrats to change his mind in the contentious 6th District primary between Pike and Manan Trivedi.
Shapiro, a three-term state lawmaker with a big profile in the region, confirmed to pa2010.com that he asked the Pike campaign to remove his name from the endorsement list on its Web site, which it did recently—and quietly. Like others who have either gone neutral or switched to Trivedi’s camp altogether, Shapiro cited the fact that Pike was the only candidate in the race at the time of the endorsement. Pike quickly lined up Democrats behind him last summer, from leading lawmakers to the rank-and-file, before Trivedi entered the race in September and began making a huge dent in that support. That dent culminated with Trivedi being the favored candidate among party insiders across the district, even in the face of Pike’s significant financial advantage in the campaign.
Shapiro also cited concerns about Pike’s policy positions toward Israel, but didn’t get into specifics.
Pike was recently endorsed by the left-leaning Israel policy group J Street, and his campaign is working to address concerns that he may be more critical of Israel than suburban Jewish leaders and voters in the district would prefer. Shapiro didn’t mention the J Street endorsement.
“We respect Representative Shapiro’s decision, and look forward to working with him to turn the 6th District blue in the general election,” Pike campaign manager Andrew Eldredge-Martin said.
State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) also got back on the fence in the primary last year. Reading Mayor Tom McMahon switched his endorsement from Pike to Trivedi earlier this year. The battle for individual endorsements recently shifted to jockeying for support from the county party organizations, where Trivedi seemed to leave Pike in the dust. He was endorsed by both the Chester County and the Montgomery County parties. And while Berks County doesn’t do formal endorsements, Trivedi is from the county and it’s seen as his base of support.
Clarification: This article may have left the incorrect impression that Josh Shapiro cited J Street’s endorsement of Doug Pike in his decision to pull his endorsement. Shapiro never mentioned J Street in the course of his interview with pa2010.com, and only alluded to more general concerns about Pike’s policies toward Israel.
March 17, 2010 at 9:00 am