State Rep. Matt Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset) announced on Friday that he will remove his name from the ballot for reelection in the 51st District and retire at the end of his term.
“My recent auto accident and subsequent treatment that I voluntarily sought drove me to deeply reflect on my life and make some hard decisions. One of those was to leave my seat in the state House of Representatives so that I can better spend time focusing on family and my personal journey to wellness,” Dowling stated. “While it has been my greatest honor and privilege to represent the people of the 51st District, I believe it is time for someone else to continue this important work.”
The Pennsylvania State Police filed DUI charges against Dowling on Thursday after a toxicology report showed the three-term representative with a blood alcohol content of .272 – more than three times the legal limit.
Dowling, 37, who was severely injured in an October crash, was reissued his license the previous day, according to the Herald-Standard.
“While I acknowledge and regret the mistakes I have made, I am also proud of the record I was able to build with the help and support of people across our community. Together, we were able to defeat liberal efforts to raise taxes on working families and seniors, to provide record funding to our local schools, to stand strong against attacks on our Second Amendment rights and to protect our conservative values,” Dowling said.
Dowling defeated challenger Ryan Porupski in the primary and was slated to face Democrat Richard Ringer in the fall. The GOP may nominate a replacement for Dowling.
In his announcement, Dowling included a special focus on his own personal challenges and encouraged others to seek help of their own if needed.