Pennsylvania Rep. Fred Keller said Monday he would not seek reelection this year after his district was split between two Republican-held districts after the state lost a seat because of reapportionment.
The announcement is a reversal from last week, when Keller said he would run against fellow Republican Rep. Dan Meuser in the 9th District. In a statement, Keller said he would not challenge another GOP member of the delegation.
“With control of Congress — and the direction of our nation — at stake, this election is bigger than any one person,” Keller said. “Rather than pit Republicans against Republicans, which the congressional map chosen by the liberal Pennsylvania Supreme Court does, I am committed to helping take back the House, holding Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat, and electing a conservative Governor.”
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week selected a congressional map after the Republican-controlled state legislature and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf couldn’t agree on one.
“The liberal Pennsylvania Supreme Court did the Commonwealth a great injustice when it once again overstepped its authority and selected a partisan map favoring Democrats,” Keller said. “Make no mistake, this map — submitted by a national Democrat group — intends to diminish the voices of conservative voters in central and northeast Pennsylvania.”
Pennsylvania Republicans have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the map.
Keller first came to Congress in a 2019 special election in which he was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the House Freedom Caucus. He is a staunch conservative who often discusses growing up poor and opposes most government regulation.
Still, Keller has focused on the needs of rural communities, such as increasing rural broadband. He doesn’t see a conflict between his wishes for more federal investment in rural areas and his anti-regulatory philosophy because he says that both create an environment for business to thrive. He emphasizes that he wants the federal government to look into "policies that will promote growth and promote the private sector to do what they do best."
Keller is the 14th House Republican to decide to retire or seek another office rather than run for reelection in November. Florida Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch on Monday also said that he will leave office before the end of the year. With Deutch, 31 House Democrats are not running for reelection.
Paul Fontelo contributed to this report.