The Washington Times - January 6, 2014, 01:52PM

Rep. Jim Gerlach announced Monday that he will not seek re-election — increasing the chances that Democrats can win the seat in the 2014 election.

Mr. Gerlach, Pennsylvania Republican, said that after a dozen years of public service, “it is simply time for me to move on to new challenges and to spend more time with my wife and family.”


“This is a tremendously difficult decision because I have had the opportunity to work with a multitude of dedicated public servants throughout the years,” he said in a statement, which was posted on “Together, we have worked to strengthen our communities and create opportunities for the hard-working families we have been privileged to represent.”

In the latest breakdown of the 2014 House races, the political gurus at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics ranked Mr. Gerlach’s seat “safe” for Republicans.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden responded to the news by saying that, “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,” Mr. Walden said. “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.”