Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright, left, and John Chrin, his 2018 Republican challenger

For all the commotion a few weeks back about Republican John Chrin running for Congress again, his first-quarter 2019 campaign finance report says otherwise.

Chrin didn’t raise any money at all, and had $2,207 left as of March 31, $1,457 less than he started the year.

That sure doesn’t look like a guy seeking to run again in 2020 for the 8th Congressional District seat he lost soundly to Democrat Matt Cartwright last year or any other seat for that matter.

A few weeks ago, something called eBay Main Street wrote that Chrin may be “gearing up to run again, but there is speculation that he could hop over to the 7th District where freshman Rep. Susan Wild (D-Allentown) will be defending her seat for the first time. The 7th District is more suited to Mr. Chrin’s political base, but the 8th is more Republican and President Trump will likely carry the latter CD. Either way, it is probable we will see Mr. Chrin returning to the political wars in 2020.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee picked up on that and warned that “Jersey John Chrin” is shopping for a new district to run in. Chrin, who grew up in Lehigh County, lived in New Jersey until moving back into Pennslyvania in 2017 to run for Congress in 2018.

EBay Main Street is the online commerce giant’s “global grassroots action network that keeps you informed and engaged on public policy issues that affect ecommerce,” according to its website.

Sure, Chrin, a millionaire many times over, has the money to fund his own campaign, but he’s smart enough to know getting contributions from others shows you have support other than your own. If he were running next year, he would probably have busied himself raising money already.

He seemed less than interested in 2020 when I met with him last week.

He’s smart enough to know the 2021 post-census redistricting will alter congressional district boundary lines again. No sense spending lots of money in 2020 when your district will probably change if you win.

Chrin learned the havoc redistricting can wreak on a campaign last year. A state Supreme Court-ordered redistricting in the midst of his run altered the boundaries of the district he lived in.

The redistricting took his newly bought Palmer Twp., Northampton County, home out of the 8th district, placed it in the 7th Congressional District and required him to buy at home at Skytop to get in the 8th to run against Cartwright.

He knows better than to go through that again. So the betting here is Chrin, assuming he wants to run for Congress again, will wait until at least 2022.

He didn’t confirm that when I asked him in a recent interview. He didn’t deny he might run next year either, but a Republican source confirmed Chrin will wait until redistricting resets boundaries to know what he faces.

On the other hand, Cartwright is definitely running again. He raised $278,785 and ended the quarter with $653,315.

That’s not as good as the $358,544 he raised in the first quarter two years and his cash on hand is about $200,000 less than that quarter, too, but $653,000 is still a pretty good pile of money.

Now that he’s in Democratic leadership – Cartwright is one of House Democrats’ chief spokesmen – he can count on a lot more help if necessary.

— BORYS KRAWCZENIUK