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Lindy Li withdraws from Chester County Congressional race

WASHINGTON -- Democrat Lindy Li, who has been running for Congress in a Chester County-based race, has withdrawn from the contest, according to a court order signed late Friday.

Her decision leaves Mike Parrish, a Malvern businessman, as Democrats' only candidate in a race that the national party had targeted -- though its hopes have faded as he has disappointed with anemic fund-raising.

Republican Ryan Costello is seeking his second term in the district, Pennsylvania's sixth. Democrats have long hoped to claim it, and might have a better chance this year with Donald Trump or Ted Cruz likely to lead the GOP ticket, but they are now left with one candidate who had less than $30,000 in his campaign fund as of his last report.

"I'm not running for Congress," in 2016, Li said in a telephone interview Saturday morning.

Parrish had challenged the validity of her nominating petition, and after a three-day trial in Commonwealth Court Li agreed to withdraw and not run for any other office this year.

"We were leading the polls by a substantial margin and we are far more well resourced, but I wish him the very best," said Li, a 25-year-old Princeton-graduate. "I will be running again."

She did not specify which office she would seek in the future. She noted that she had raised $600,000 as a first-time candidate, but had to spend much of it during the trial.

Attorney Kevin Greenberg, representing the Parrish campaign and three allied objectors, had said Li's petition included numerous flaws, including signatures from unregistered voters, voters from other districts and registered Republicans and independents. Li said the main problem was that her notary failed to keep a proper log.

"I've learned my lesson and no one will be able to exploit my weaknesses in the future," she said. "I'm just terribly sorry about what happened, it breaks my heart."

Li had originally planned to run in the neighboring seventh district, based in Delaware County, but later changed plans.

Parrish had just $27,711 in his campaign fund as of his last report. Costello had $861,492.

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