WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) – A Republican Pennsylvania congressman has announced that he will not seek re-election, boosting Democratic hopes of winning his House seat.

U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello announced on Sunday that he would not be running, ending weeks of speculation about his future.

During an appearance on MSNBC, the second-term congressman called it “the most difficult decision” he’s ever had to make and said it was due to a number of factors including the state’s new congressional map.

Under the discarded map, Costello’s suburban Philadelphia district had a Republican majority that nevertheless helped Clinton beat Trump there by 2 percentage points in 2016. The redrawn district has slightly more Democrats and Clinton would have won it by 9 percentage points.

Costello was expected to face a tough election battle against Democrat Chrissy Houlahan.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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