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Paul Perry Drops Out of Primary in Pennsylvania Race

Perry had garnered attention with a campaign video

Perry had been running in Pennsylvania's 7th District. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Perry had been running in Pennsylvania's 7th District. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrat Paul Perry is dropping out of the crowded primary against Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Pat Meehan, even after garnering attention for a campaign video highlighting his personal story. 

Perry had a background in education and worked for a nonprofit supporting children of LGBT parents. Perry was raised by gay fathers, both veterans (in his campaign video, Perry joked, “I had gay parents before it was cool”).

In a statement about his decision shared first with Roll Call, Perry said he was discouraged by the fundraising demands of a congressional campaign.

“As I depart this race, I leave with grave questions about the sustainability of our democracy,” Perry said. “It is awash in money and influence-peddling on both sides of the aisle. The barriers to entry for everyday citizens (most of the middle class) and true public servants are far too high.”

In the most recent fundraising quarter, Perry raised the third highest amount of money in the field of seven Democrats, raking in $62,000.

But that paled in comparison to state Sen. Daylin Leach, who raised $403,000. Dan Muroff, who worked as a House chief of staff and a Philadelphia Democratic ward leader, raised nearly $117,000. Muroff ended the quarter with $20,000 more in cash on hand than Leach.

Perry had the backing of New Politics, a bipartisan group that supports candidates with public service backgrounds, and Brand New Congress, a group formed by former campaign staffers for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Perry’s departure narrows the field, with Leach and Muroff considered the top contenders. Leach is an unabashed liberal candidate who uses his brash humor to make his case to voters. Muroff is a soft-spoken Democrat with experience in party politics, and says he has experience that will appeal to moderates and Republicans in the district in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Democrat Hillary Clinton won the district by 2 points in 2016, according to calculations by Daily Kos elections, but Meehan won re-election by 20 points. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race in the 7th District Likely Republican

Perry said he will spend time supporting his aging father, and will also continue his work supporting education and families. He signaled he was undecided about whether he would run for public office again. 

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