Centrist GOP Rep. Gerlach to Retire

Image: Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa.

Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., questions ousted IRS Chief Steve Miller and J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, as they testify during a hearing at the House Ways and Means Committee on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) practice of targeting applicants for tax-exempt status based on political leanings on Capitol Hill, in Washington on May 17. Charles Dharapak / AP file

Centrist Republican Rep. Jim Gerlach won't seek re-election to his eastern Pennsylvania district this fall, creating a pickup opportunity for Democrats.

A Republican confirmed news -- first reported by PoliticsPA -- that Gerlach had opted against seeking a seventh term in Congress. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney narrowly carried the district in 2012 after its boundaries were shored up during the latest round of redistricting.

Democrats have previously targeted Gerlach for defeat, but ultimately fell short. Democrats need to gain a net of 17 seats this November in order to win back control of the House from Republicans, a generally tall task at this stage.