Costello’s decision “puts Democrat Chrissy Houlahan in the driver’s seat to take over a very favorably redrawn seat” according to Cook.
“Costello is probably the only Republican who had a shot at winning a district that was made more Democratic under the new congressional map ordered by the state Supreme Court. It now includes all of Chester County and Reading, and Costello currently represents 50 percent of the newly drawn 6th District,” Inside Elections wrote.
Houlahan, an Air Force veteran and former AND1 executive, is the likely Democratic nominee in the district as the only Democrat to file to be on the ballot.
Costello had suggested impeaching the judges who imposed the map. Ultimately, he bowed out. A second Republican, attorney Greg McCauley, filed for the May 15 primary and had been challenging Costello from the right. The former Wendy’s restaurant franchise owner is now the likely GOP nominee, but his positions on guns and immigration put him to the right of the district and he begins with a massive resource disadvantage.
Houlahan, an Air Force veteran who became an executive for the AND1 athletic wear brand, ended 2017 with $950,000 and is frequently billed as one of her party’s top recruits. Had Costello stayed in the race, AND1’s outsourcing and labor conditions in Asia could have become a line of attack that kept him in the fight. Without him, however, the race moves from the Toss Up column to the Likely Democratic column.