Republican Congressman Ryan Costello announced on Sunday that he is retiring from his post representing Pennsylvania’s 6th District.
“At this moment in time running for reelection is not the prudent course of action,” Costello said, via Fox News. “And I say that after a lot of deliberation. It’s been a very tough decision for me to make, but I think I’m making the right decision.”
GOP Rep. Ryan Costello drops bid for re-election https://t.co/BVwwYLnjwH
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 26, 2018
Costello is withdrawing from the GOP primary contest for Pennsylvania’s 6th District set for May 15, despite filing paperwork this week to have his name placed on the ballot.
The Republican’s decision to seek employment in the private sector rather than mount a costly re-election bid follows the U.S. Supreme Court declining to hear a GOP challenge to the state’s congressional map, which many operatives believe favors Democrats.
It also comes as Democrat Conor Lamb clinched victory by 627 votes against Republican Rick Saccone in a special election for Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district earlier in March.
— Kasie DC (@KasieDC) March 26, 2018
As the Hill reports, Costello may see a potential re-election run as a costly defeat:
Costello reportedly met with former 6th District Rep. Jim Gerlach (R) and the state GOP chairman about the decision Friday, which he said would avoid a costly defeat for the party in the coming months.
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The Pennsylvania Republican has been rumored to be considering retirement from the Philadelphia-suburban area hit hard by a recent redrawing of the state’s congressional districts.
The redraw, forced by the state Supreme Court after determining the old congressional map was unconstitutional, raised doubts as to whether Costello could hold on in the competitive swing counties surrounding Philadelphia.
ABC News reports the district is open to more Democrat voters:
His 6th Congressional District was transformed from one that Hillary Clinton won by one point in 2016 to one she would have won by nine points under the new lines.
The boundaries shifted to include all of Chester County and the city of Reading, which could add to the Democratic voting base.
Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA):
•First elected in 2014
•2016: Re-elected with 57% of the vote
•2016: Clinton won Costello’s district by less than one percentage point
•Clinton would have won Costello’s newly-drawn PA congressional district by
10 points https://t.co/J54jAFmwCE
— Fox News Research (@FoxNewsResearch) March 26, 2018
Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear arguments from a Republican-backed effort to challenge the state’s new congressional map.
Here’s more on the high court’s ruling, via Politico:
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied Pennsylvania Republicans’ request to stop the imposition of new congressional districts ahead of the 2018 midterms.
A statement from the court said a request to stay a ruling from the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court had been denied without comment or recorded dissent. The state Supreme Court ruled the previous map, drawn by Republicans in the state legislature and signed into law in 2011 by then-GOP Gov. Tom Corbett, was a partisan gerrymander that violated the state’s constitution.