By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Congressman Jim Gerlach’s announcement that he will not seek re-election to a seventh two-year term in the US House is expected to set off a mad scramble for his seat (see related story).

The Sixth Congressional District of Pennsylvania has long been targeted by Democrats, but redistricting before the 2012 election kept the district safely in Republican hands.  The district now includes parts of Montgomery, Chester, Berks, and Lehigh counties.

And with Gerlach nearing the end of his sixth term, his retirement is expected to ignite a flurry of activity as candidates line up to be considered.

“Well, no doubt the challenge is finding a good candidate,” says state representative Mike Vereb, who heads the GOP in Montgomery County, “and that process will start in Chester County with Chairman (Valentino) DiGiorgio.  He will lead this process, as far as I know.”

Vereb says there are several names flying around, none that he would name publicly, and at this point he’s not solid on any prospective candidate.

Gerlach, 58, says it’s time to move on to new challenges and spend more time with his family.