High-ranking House Republican Toepel announces 2020 retirement

    Rep. Marcy Toepel, R-Montgomery (Courtesy of state Facebook page)

    The fourth-highest ranking House Republican in the state House says she’s not running for re-election in 2020.

    Rep. Marcy Toepel, of Montgomery County’s 147th District, said in a statement late Tuesday afternoon that she was stepping down at the conclusion of her current term.

    Toepel, who presides over private lawmaker meetings as GOP Caucus chairwoman, called her time in office “an awesome and humbling experience.”

    A former Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds, Toepel was first sent to Harrisburg in a 2010 special election. As a lawmaker, she cited restoring mandatory minimums for individuals who illegally purchased firearms as a top accomplishment.

    “It has been rewarding to have a number of bills signed into law, but there is still much to do, including the urgent need to address property taxes and how we fund our schools,” Toepel said in a release.

    In the release, she also named preserving district green space, as well as $3.5 million in state funding to in-district projects, as top achievements.

    Toepel’s sprawling suburban Philadelphia district includes some suburbs of Pottstown, as well as Schwenksville, Upper and Lower Salford, and Douglass Townships, among others.

    Toepel is the fifth House lawmaker to announce their retirement in the past month, joining two other Republicans and two Democrats.

    Three other representatives — all Republicans — will also be retiring early next year to take seats in local government they won in the 2019 municipal election.

    No Democrat has ever represented the district. Toepel beat a Democratic challenger in 2018 57-43 percent, her lowest winning margin in all of her races, according to Ballotpedia.

    According to Daily Kos, a progressive elections blog, statewide Republicans have traditionally done well in the seat, often winning with double digit margins.

    The exception came in 2018, when Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf won the district with 53 percent of the vote while cruising to an easy reelection, according to numbers crunched by election analyst Ben Forstate.

    Democrats, however, see their path to a majority as coming through flipping as many GOP-held seats as possible within the Philadelphia collar counties. At least one Democratic political group includes it on a target list for 2020.