A Chester County man has become the first candidate to enter the race for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach.
Mike Parrish, a businessman from Malvern, Chester Co., formally announced Tuesday his bid for the Democratic nomination in the race for Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District, which includes a large part of Berks County.
"Congress refuses to take on the tough fights anymore. They'd rather shut down the government than come up with solutions," Parrish said in a video his campaign posted on YouTube. "My father always taught me to 'put up, or shut up.' And, that’s why I’m running for Congress, to hold Washington accountable – to our veterans, our seniors, and our economy."
Parrish said his background as an Army veteran, engineer, entrepreneur and leader makes him uniquely qualified to bring accountability to Washington and deliver results to the people of Pennsylvania.
After graduating from West Point in 1985, Parrish spent 13 years on active duty as an Army aviator in various leadership assignments around the globe.
In 1998, Parrish transitioned to the Army Reserves, where he continues to serve as a colonel.
The same year, Parrish started at General Electric, where he said he helped modernize global delivery services in order to save millions of dollars while improving on-time delivery performance.
In 2003, he founded an environmental services company that specializes in industrial air, water and ground instrumentation.
Parrish currently serves as the CEO of Daleco Resources Corporation in West Chester.
Parrish has three children ages 11, 8 and 4.
Gerlach, a Chester County Republican, announced last week that he will not seek a seventh term in Congress.
The 6th Congressional District also includes parts of Chester, Lebanon and Montgomery counties.