Republican Pennsylvania congressman bows out of reelection bid, boosting Democrat hopes of more wins

(Reuters) - Republican Pennsylvania Congressman Ryan Costello announced Sunday that he will not seek re-election in November, boosting Democratic Party hopes of taking another seat, officials said. 

Costello’s announcement comes on the heels of a Democrat upset in a special congressional election March 13, in an area handily won by U.S. President Donald Trump in 2016, prompting Republicans to sound alarm bells of more possible Democrat wins.

In that race, Republican Rick Saccone conceded his loss to Democrat Conor Lamb on March 21 in the razor-close race for the state’s 18th Congressional District, a Republican stronghold. 

Costello announced Sunday to Kasie Hunt, on the MSNBC program Kasie DC, that he will not seek re-election, citing both the redrawn suburban-Philadelphia district that now favors Democrats and his desire to spend more time with his family.

“It’s the most difficult decision I can recall having to make,” he told Hunt on Sunday night. “I have an 8-month-old. I have a 4-year-old. And it’s a very challenging job, serving in Congress with a young family.”

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National Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Stivers told ABC News that Costello’s retirement is a “great loss.”

He said in a statement to the news agency, “We will work tirelessly to ensure this seat remains in Republican hands.”

More on congressional lawmakers not seeking reelection

Congressional lawmakers not seeking re-election come 2018
See Gallery
Congressional lawmakers not seeking re-election come 2018
Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA) 
Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)
U.S. Republican Representative Darrell Issa
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-CA)
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA)
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA)

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas)

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) 

Rep. Dave Trott (R-Mich.)
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.)

Rep. John 'Jimmy' Duncan (R-Tenn.)

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota)

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) 

(Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas)

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) 

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Washington)

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-New Mexico)


Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio)

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX)
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)
Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-New Jersey

Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Florida

Photo Credit: Getty 

Rep. Pat Meehan, R-Pa.

Photo Credit: Getty

Sen. William Larkin (R-NY)

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) 

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)


The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in a statement that other Republicans should take heed of Costello’s decision.

“Costello’s exit should set off alarm bells for vulnerable House Republicans, who will also have to explain to middle-class voters why they’ve given repeated handouts to the rich and biggest corporations, and who will face similarly tough, well-financed challenges from our deep field of impressive candidates,” said spokesman Evan Lukaske in a press release.

Neither Costello nor his representatives were immediately available for comment.

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