U.S. Representative Ryan Costello, a Chester County Republican who also represents part of Berks County, announced Sunday that he will not seek re-election, boosting Democratic hopes of winning his House seat.
Costello's decision comes after the state Supreme Court redrew the congressional map in Pennsylvania after ruling that the old map draw by Republicans was unconstitutional.
Costello says it was not an easy decision, with the Trump Presidency, Democrats are becoming more engaged and angry.
At least one commentator said Costello's decision to leave the race was proving a frustration for Republican party leaders.
Democrats have a candidate they like in former nonprofit executive Chrissy Houlahan, who has already proven to be a strong fundraiser, outraising Costello in 2017's fourth quarter. "He's been a fierce advocate for Pennsylvania's 6th District and his leadership will be sorely missed". Costello won his first two elections in 2014 and 2016 by comfortable margins, but his district is marginally Democratic on paper.
"The state supreme court, in a matter of a week or so made a decision to invalidate the map", Costello said Sunday night. Despite the new district boundaries that many experts now believe lean toward a Democratic victory in November, the overall voter registration figures are in Costello's favor and internal polling suggests that he could still eke out a win. Republicans have fought the decision and attempted to impeach state Supreme Court justices appointed by Democrats.
He said in a statement to the news agency: 'We will work tirelessly to ensure this seat remains in Republican hands'.
"Last year, NRCC Chairman Stivers singled out Congressman Costello's race as a bellwether for whether Democrats could take back the majority, so Costello's retirement is an ominous sign for Republican chances this November. It's been a very tough decision for me to make, but I think I'm making the right decision".
Costello, who announced Sunday that he will not seek reelection, told MSNBC's Kasie Hunt that he is always overshadowed by controversies and shakeups at the White House when he tries to get messages out about policy proposals he supports.