Yet another legislator has joined the record-breaking number of Republican congressmen who say they won’t be running for re-election in 2018. The latest is Rep. Ryan Costello, who represents Pennsylvania’s 6th District.
Costello’s decision comes after continued warnings of how vulnerable his seat is, and for weeks he was rumored to be eyeing the private sector for a career change.
His district, which was already experiencing an increase in registered Democratic voters, also recently became even harder for Costello to win after Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court redrew the state’s congressional map and the top Supreme Court rejected the GOP’s bid to block the changes.
The previous congressional map made it much easier for Republican candidates to win in elections; it was declared unconstitutional in January. The new, more neutral map means the GOP will have to step up its game if it wants to win seats that would have once been simple victories.
Republican legislators all over the country have either been retiring or announcing that they plan to leave politics ahead of the 2018 races. Not so coincidentally, a good number of them are lawmakers who would have likely had to face humiliating defeats to Democrats.
Recently, Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Rick Saccone lost to Democrat Conor Lamb in an upset race. While the vote was extremely close, what makes the win significant is the fact that it took place in a district that voted for Trump by a 20% margin.
Wouldn’t be surprising if Costello’s real motivation for wanting to get out of politics is fear of losing.