By Rich McKay
(Reuters) - Republican Pennsylvania Congressman Ryan Costello announced Sunday that he will not seek re-election in November, boosting Democratic Party hopes of taking another seat, officials said.
Costello's announcement comes on the heels of a Democrat upset in a special congressional election March 13, in an area handily won by U.S. President Donald Trump in 2016, prompting Republicans to sound alarm bells of more possible Democrat wins.
- There's fanfic at The Met and it's all because of the Tale of Genji21 Pictures
- Oscars 2019: Red carpet looks and full list of winners36 Pictures
In that race, Republican Rick Saccone conceded his loss to Democrat Conor Lamb on March 21 in the razor-close race for the state's 18th Congressional District, a Republican stronghold.
Costello announced Sunday to Kasie Hunt, on the MSNBC program Kasie DC, that he will not seek re-election, citing both the redrawn suburban-Philadelphia district that now favors Democrats and his desire to spend more time with his family.
"It's the most difficult decision I can recall having to make," he told Hunt on Sunday night. "I have an 8-month-old. I have a 4-year-old. And it's a very challenging job, serving in Congress with a young family."
National Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Stivers told ABC News that Costello's retirement is a "great loss."
He said in a statement to the news agency, "We will work tirelessly to ensure this seat remains in Republican hands."
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in a statement that other Republicans should take heed of Costello’s decision.
“Costello's exit should set off alarm bells for vulnerable House Republicans, who will also have to explain to middle-class voters why they’ve given repeated handouts to the rich and biggest corporations, and who will face similarly tough, well-financed challenges from our deep field of impressive candidates,” said spokesman Evan Lukaske in a press release.
Neither Costello nor his representatives were immediately available for comment.
(Reporting by Rich McKay; Editing by Michael Perry)