Rep. Ryan Costello (R) on Sunday announced he wouldn’t seek reelection in his Pennsylvania district in the upcoming midterm elections, in another blow to the GOP as fears mount over the possibility of a Democratic sweep in November.
“It was a combination of factors,” Costello told the Daily Local News of West Chester, Pa. “It has been a deeply personal decision and evaluation.”
“But those who love me agree and those who I love agree with it,” he said, according to the news outlet. “I will not be running for re-election.”
He went on to cite the “very angry” political environment as one of his reasons for the decision.
“Whether it’s [President Trump’s alleged affair with adult-film star] Stormy Daniels, or passing an omnibus spending bill that the president threatens to veto after promising to sign, it’s very difficult to move forward in a constructive way today,” Costello told the Daily Local News.
— Kasie DC (@KasieDC) March 25, 2018
The announcement comes days after the Supreme Court denied a request to block the implementation of a new court-ordered map in the state, a move that Republicans fear gives Democrats a significant boost in Pennsylvania in the midterms.
In a separate interview on Sunday with MSNBC’s “Kasie DC,” Costello said his choice not to run was “the most difficult decision I can recall having to make” and that the state Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate the old district map led him to not seek reelection.
Following his announcement, the Cook Political Report moved Costello’s district from “toss up” to “likely Dem.”
Rumors surfaced recently that Costello wouldn’t seek reelection, and he reportedly met with former 6th District Rep. Jim Gerlach (R) and the state GOP chairman to discuss his decision on Friday.
Other Pennsylvania Republicans, including Keith Rothfus and Brian Fitzpatrick, also face tough reelections under the new map, which has led Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) to tweet that the state’s GOP is “now in a world of trouble.”
The state’s congressional map has been a source of controversy after the state Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional. The court eventually drew its own map when the GOP-controlled legislature and the Democratic governor were unable to agree on new district lines.
Republicans have been challenging the map in court, arguing the state Supreme Court did not give them enough time to rework the map. But their efforts to block the map have been repeatedly rebuffed.