Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) has decided not to seek re-election.
"Nearing the end of my sixth term in the House and following 12 years of public service in the Pennsylvania House and Senate, it is simply time for me to move on to new challenges and to spend more time with my wife and family," Gerlach said in a statement according to PoliticsPA. "This is a tremendously difficult decision because I have had the opportunity to work with a multitude of dedicated public servants throughout the years. Together, we have worked to strengthen our communities and create opportunities for the hard-working families we have been privileged to represent."
Gerlach's decision gives Democrats a chance to pickup a House district in Pennsylvania. Gerlach's congressional district just barely went for Mitt Romney over President Obama in 2012 with the former Massachusetts governor garnering 51 percent of the vote and Obama getting 48 percent. In 2008, Obama won the district over McCain 53 percent to 46 percent.
Gerlach was first elected in 2002.
The National Republican Congressional Committee praised the six-term congressman's time in office, especially his founding of the House Land Conservation Caucus.
"In Congress, Jim has been a driving force behind numerous measures to reform the tax code, protect the promises made to seniors, and dismantle the disaster that is ObamaCare. As the founder of the House Land Conservation Caucus, Jim was a leading advocate for preserving our nation’s farmland in Congress," National Republican Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) said in a statement. "I join with my colleagues in wishing Jim and his family well in this new chapter in their lives. Though we are losing a strong advocate for Pennsylvania, I have no doubt we will elect another Republican leader in November who will be the same thoughtful lawmaker that Jim is."
This post was updated.