Ryan A Costello

The Political Turnpike Runs Through Pennsylvania
Resignations, retirements and redistricting scramble the midterm calculus

POLITICALTHEATER-crop

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

If you’re confused about what comes next in Pennsylvania, even after this week’s primary elections set the midterm slate, don’t worry. That just means you’re paying attention. 

November House Matchups Almost Set in Pennsylvania
Democrats eye several pickup opportunities under new congressional map

A cutout of Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., at a protest outside his town hall meeting in Bensalem, Pennsylvania., in August 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania hosted its first primaries Tuesday under a new congressional map, solidifying general election matchups in an important swing state. And the Keystone State appears set to add at least one woman to its all-male congressional delegation in the next Congress.

Democrats view Pennsylvania as key to their effort to flip 23 seats and win back the House, eyeing between three and five pickups in the state alone. Tuesday’s primaries set the stage for some competitive races in November, as well as likely new members of Congress in some of the open seats. 

Pennsylvania Remapped: Primaries Enter New Territory
Keystone State is hosting several competitive House primaries

After losing a special election in March, Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone seeks another shot at the House on Tuesday from the new 14th District. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images file photo)

Tuesday’s primary elections in Pennsylvania will be the first contests under the state’s new congressional map, and they will set the November matchups in a state that has seen a surge of House candidates.

Ninety-four people — 59 Democrats and 35 Republicans — filed to run for Congress in the Keystone State this cycle. The high number of candidates is due in part to several open-seat races.

Rothenberg’s Dangerous Dozen Open House Seats
Republicans find themselves more on the defensive as November looms

Former Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan, seen here after being pulled from the Congressional Baseball Game in 2014, has left behinda an open seat that is the most likely to flip party control, Rothenberg writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Yes, it’s time for another of my “dangerous dozen open House seats” columns, which I have been writing since shortly after the establishment of the Jamestown Settlement (or so it seems).

This cycle’s version has a plethora of seats to choose from, given the 38 Republican and 19 Democratic seats where an incumbent is not seeking re-election, either because he or she is retiring or running for a different office. (The number does not include those districts where a special election has already filled a vacancy or will be held before November.)

11 Almost, Probably, Most Likely Members of the 116th Congress
These candidates in open seats are all but assured of joining the next Congress

The hopes of some congressional candidates have come to a head early. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s spring in Washington, but for several candidates it may as well be fall. With six months left in their campaigns, these 11 candidates are already virtually assured of becoming new members in the 116th Congress — and the roster of such virtual freshmen could get three times bigger, or more, before Election Day.

Members of this unusual political class have the luxury of running for open seats in places where — thanks to demographics and past election results — locking down one party’s ballot line is tantamount to winning in November.

Brooks Suggests Republicans Are Retiring Because of Assassination Fears
Pointed at the large number of GOP members on baseball team who are leaving Congress

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., speaks to reporters at the Republican baseball team's first practice of the year at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks suggested in a radio interview that Republicans are retiring en masse because of assassination fears.

Brooks was speaking on “The Dale Jackson Show” about the first Republican practice the Congressional Baseball Game after last year’s shooting that left Majority Whip Steve Scalise severely injured.

Nathan’s (Mostly) Political One-Liners: Florida, Curious George, and the NFL
What’s running through my head on Thursday, April 12

From left, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Chief Deputy Whip Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., arrive in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday as reports of Speaker Paul D. Ryan not running for re-election spread. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Arizona’s 8th District Special: Welcome to the big leagues, Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, who we’re learning hasn’t treated patients since 2011 and settled a malpractice lawsuit.

Baseball Movies: It’s still hard to believe Aaron Sorkin made “Moneyball” into a watchable movie.

Pennsylvania Officials Weigh Backing GOP Candidate for Costello’s Seat
Costello’s withdrawal left them with few options

Pennsylvania Rep. Ryan A. Costello announced he was not seeking re-election after the filing deadline. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Ryan A. Costello’s decision to retire has put Pennsylvania Republicans hoping to hold on to his seat in a bind, and they’re now weighing whether to back the only Republican candidate left in the race.

GOP leaders from Chester County will hold a conference call Thursday to discuss supporting Republican Greg McCauley, a tax lawyer who also filed to run in the 6th District before Costello announced his retirement, according to Val DiGiorgio, the state and Chester County GOP chairman. The county GOP was previously backing Costello, having announced its endorsements in February.

Rating Change: Costello’s Decision Shifts Pennsylvania’s 6th Further Toward Democrats
With incumbent out, Democrat Chrissy Houlahan is a firm favorite

Pennsylvania Rep. Ryan A. Costello is leaving behind a seat Democrats are likely to pick up. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If Republican Rep. Ryan A. Costello thought he could win, it sure seems like he would have run again. But despite having nearly $1.4 million in campaign funds on Dec. 31, the 41-year-old congressman is not seeking re-election in the newly-drawn 6th District of Pennsylvania. His withdrawal takes a GOP seat already headed in the Democrats’ direction and puts it firmly in the Democratic column.

According to a report from City & State PA, Costello will drop out before the May 15 primary. Had he dropped out after winning the primary, local party officials could’ve replaced him on the ballot. But since the March 20 filing deadline came and went last week, lawyer Greg McCauley is the likely GOP nominee. He filed with the Federal Election Commission in February, so his first fundraising will be due April 15, detailing activity through March.

Report: Costello Not Running for Re-Election
Pennsylvania Republican changes mind after initially filing for third term

Pennsylvania Rep. Ryan A. Costello is reportedly not running for re-election in the 6th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pennsylvania Rep. Ryan A. Costello has decided against seeking re-election, despite recently filing to run for a third term, according to a report from City & State PA.

The news site reported that the Republican lawmaker met Friday with party officials, including state GOP chairman Val DiGiorgio and former Republican Rep. Jim Gerlach, whom he succeeded in 2015, and informed them he would drop out of the race before the May 15 primary