Moderate PA GOP Congressman Jim Gerlach to retire

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 6, 2014 1:18 PM

(Washington) -- Congressman Jim Gerlach, one of a shrinking number of Republican moderates in the House, has announced he will retire from Congress at the end of his term. 

Gerlach says it's ``simply time for me to move on to new challenges and to spend more time with my wife and family.''

The six-term veteran's decision opens up a district anchored in the outer suburbs of Philadelphia, as well as a coveted seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee. The district also includes portions of Berks and Lebanon counties.

Gerlach has routinely had relatively close elections, though the latest round of redistricting made it more GOP-friendly.  

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden released the following statement on Jim Gerlach’s retirement announcement:

 “Leaders like Jim Gerlach are simply not found every day. He first spent over a decade in the Pennsylvania legislature ensuring that his local community had a voice in the halls of power. 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.

 “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.”

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