By Larry Kane
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A real surprise in area politics. Veteran Republican Congressman Jim Gerlach will not seek re-election after 12 years in congress. KYW special contributor Larry Kane says there will be consequences.
The decision by Jim Gerlach has rocked the local Republican Party. Gerlach has been a fixture in the seat that snakes through the suburbs west to most of Chester County and parts of Berks and Montgomery counties. It is a middle of the road district that the Democrats will now target and Republicans will have to defend vigorously. Chester County is also the scene of a small but vigorous Tea Party movement that is making waves.
Jim Gerlach is the second moderate to be leaving Congress. Jon Runyan in South Jersey will not stand for re-election after two terms. Gerlach says it’s time to move on, but the implications are apparent in the struggle for Congress. With Gerlach and Runyan leaving and Republican Mike Fitzpatrick facing a challenge from the Democrats in Bucks County, the three races will be earmarked for a lot of attention from Washington. Sources tell us that Chester County’s former controller and current party chair Val Di Georgia will most likely make a run.