Pa. GOP 'disappointed' by rep retiring after filing deadline

Pa. GOP 'disappointed' by rep retiring after filing deadline
© Greg Nash

The timing of Rep. Ryan CostelloRyan Anthony CostellloDems eyeing smaller magic number for House majority House GOP starts summer break on a note of friction Overnight Energy: Proposed rule would roll back endangered species protections | House passes Interior, EPA spending | House votes to disavow carbon tax MORE's (R-Pa.) retirement isn't sitting well with Pennsylvania Republican officials who fear they'll be unable to get an electable candidate's name on the ballot for the recently redrawn 6th District. 

Costello, who cited issues with the political climate as well as personal reasons for his departure from Congress, announced his decision less than a week after the March 20 deadline for candidates to file to run for the seat.

Speculation had begun to build over whether he would retire after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court chose not to block a newly redrawn congressional map, which made the 6th District more favorable for Democrats. 

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“Given the timing of his announcement and my firm belief that he could win re-election, I am disappointed by his decision not to seek re-election,” Pennsylvania GOP Chairman Val DiGiorgio wrote to party supporters, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday.

Costello's predecessor, former 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-Pa.), echoed DiGiorgio's sentiments, noting the GOP faces an uphill battle to hold onto Pennsylvania's 6th District without the incumbent in the race.

“The timing of it is not good relative to having a good chance to hold the seat in a very competitive year,” he told the paper. 

Costello has until 5 p.m. Tuesday to decide whether his name will remain on the ballot for the primary, which could allow party officials additional time to select a replacement candidate without holding a special election if he wins.

Currently, tax attorney Gregory Michael McCauley is the only other GOP candidate in the race. 

Whoever becomes the GOP candidate is slated to face off against Democratic Air Force veteran and businesswoman Chrissy Houlahan who managed to raise more than $1.2 million in 2017, according to campaign finance reports. 

Following Costello's announcement, the Cook Political Report moved the race from "toss up" to "likely Dem."