Skip to main content

Official portrait of Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA-06)
Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA)
Yet another Republican who hails from the more moderate wing of his party is calling it quits.

Pennsylvania Rep. Jim Gerlach, who's been in office for over a decade, announced on Monday that he will not seek re-election this year, and he also won't try to primary wounded Gov. Tom Corbett. While we don't have any particular insight into Gerlach's decision-making process, he's now the fourth decidedly non-tea party Republican to bail on Congress this term, along with Reps. John Runyan, Frank Wolf, and Tom Latham.

Gerlach, sitting in a swingy suburban turf, had also been a perennial Democratic target and never won more than 52 percent of the vote in his first four elections. He did perform better in the GOP wave of 2010, taking 57 percent, and he matched that figure last cycle after Republicans shored up his seat in redistricting. Gerlach hadn't drawn an opponent yet this year, but having to deal with a stiff re-election fight every time may have taken its toll.

Despite recent gerrymandering, though, Pennsylvania's 6th is still very competitive, particularly with Gerlach gone. Mitt Romney carried the district by a narrow 51-48 margin in 2012, and even under the new lines, Barack Obama won here 53-46 four years prior to that. So you can bet that Democrats will make this a top target—and Republicans will fight hard to hold it.

And now, with Gerlach's retirement, plenty of candidates on both sides are sure to express interest. On the Democratic side, according to PoliticsPA, attorney Chris Casey, a brother of Sen. Bob Casey, is a possibility, and former state environmental chief Katie McGinty could also drop down from the gubernatorial race. Potential Republicans, meanwhile, include Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello; former state Rep. Sam Rohrer; and state Sen. John Rafferty.

As always, we'll be following all developments here closely, so stick with Daily Kos Elections (and sign up for our daily newsletter) to stay informed.

10:58 AM PT: Actually, businessman Mike Parrish had just filed to challenge Gerlach this fall, but you probably hadn't heard about it since he did so on Dec. 30.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:44 AM PST.

Also republished by Philly Kos, DKos Pennsylvania, and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site