Republican Pa. congressman won't seek reelection: report

Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Ryan CostelloRyan Anthony CostellloHead of Pennsylvania GOP resigns over alleged explicit texts Lobbying world Overnight Energy: Park Service closing Joshua Tree after shutdown damage | Dems deliver trash from parks to White House | Dems offer bills to block offshore drilling | Oil lobby worries about Trump trade fight MORE will not seek reelection to his district in 2018 as he faces a difficult midterm race in a district with a growing Democratic voter base, City & State Pennsylvania reported Saturday.

Despite having filed this week to run in the GOP primary for the state's 6th District in May, Costello told state and local Republican officials that he plans to drop out in the weeks before then, unidentified sources told the news outlet.

Costello reportedly met with former 6th District Rep. Jim GerlachJames (Jim) Gerlach2018 midterms: The blue wave or a red dawn? Pa. GOP 'disappointed' by rep retiring after filing deadline Pennsylvania Republican Costello won't seek reelection MORE (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. 

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.

The district went from being one that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report A question for Robert Mueller MORE won by just 1 point in 2016 to one she would have won by 9 points, ABC News reported.

Costello's move also comes after the GOP narrowly lost a special election in the Pittsburgh suburbs' 18th District, one seen as a barometer of Republican favor in the months before the midterm elections this fall.

Democrats hope to net at least 24 seats to regain control of the House.

Updated: 4:20 p.m.