Daylin Leach Talks Marijuana, Progressive Politics and Rock #PA13 | The Candidate

Leach is running for Congress in Pennsylvania's 13th. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
Leach is running for Congress in Pennsylvania's 13th. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
Posted April 25, 2013 at 3:00pm

Editor’s note: Every year, scores of congressional candidates visit the CQ Roll Call offices to meet with reporters and Contributing Writer Stuart Rothenberg. This new blog feature, “The Candidate,” will ask these congressional hopefuls five questions about their campaigns. Responses have been edited and condensed.

Have a question for a candidate? We’ll announce their visits via Twitter, and you can tweet your inquiry to @RollCall or email

The candidate: State Sen. Daylin Leach, a Democrat.
The other candidates: State Rep. Brendan Boyle and Valerie A. Arkoosh, a medical professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, former Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, who represented part of that district two decades ago, is also considering a campaign.
The member: Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, a Democrat running for governor.
The district: Solidly Democratic 13th District in southeastern Pennsylvania.
The candidate’s team: Senior Adviser Aren Platt, Vanessa Gervasi DeRose (fundraising), Dan Fee of The Echo Group (mail), Devine Mulvey Longabaugh (media) and Marc Silverman of Thirty-Ninth Street Strategies (polling).

1. You live in a part of Upper Merion that is just outside the 13th District’s boundaries. Will you move into the district?

Leach: We’re discussing that. This is the issue: I told you I went to eight elementary schools and I lived in 14 residences. I always wanted my children to have a house that they grew up in. We live like six houses from the district. I have to consult with my family about this.

2. If you win, will you blog about Congress like you have about the state legislature?
(h/t @ScottDetrow)

Leach: Absolutely. I haven’t written for a while because I’ve been so busy.

3. Would you continue to pursue the legalization of marijuana at the federal level? Have you talked to any members about this?

Leach: I haven’t actually, but I will. I’m meeting with a couple members of Congress this week, and I’ll talk to them. … I know there will be more and more people sort of coming out of the marijuana closet as time goes by. It’s not the only thing I would pursue [at the federal level] obviously. But I do think that, for example, getting marijuana relisted so it’s not a Schedule 1 narcotic would at least bring some rationality to the discussion. We could study whether it’s beneficial medically. We could stop treating people who do this, who use marijuana — which is far less harmful and dangerous than alcohol – as criminal.

4. Have any top Democrats — including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — tried to convince you to run for a nearby competitive district instead?
(h/t @BrianRos1)
Leach: There are no competitive ones — so no, at least currently. … No one has contacted me about running in a different district of any kind.

5. What does the 13th District look like to you?

Leach: It looks like the cover of a progressive rock album: The Daylin Leach Experience.