WEST CHESTER – Yesterday, it was confirmed that Congressman Ryan Costello (PA-06) is stepping down as a delegate to the Republican Convention and giving his delegate seat to Chester County Republican Committee Chairman Val DiGiorgio. A spokesman for the Chester County Republican Committee indicated that Costello wanted to focus more on his campaign. Mike Parrish, Costello’s challenger, issued a statement criticizing Costello’s decision, calling it another failure of leadership on the part of the incumbent.

Our community deserves real leadership in Congress. As an officer in U.S. Army and as a business owner and entrepreneur, I have a track record of proven leadership, and I will be a real leader in Washington. I am not afraid to take a stand on the important issues we face, nor am I afraid to work with those who may not necessarily agree with me. I firmly believe that we can work together to get things done, but we can’t do that when we have elected representatives, like my opponent, who refuse to lead. We can do better.

 This decision on the part of my opponent is no surprise. It is just another attempt to avoid taking any responsibility for anything and the latest in a long line of leadership failures perpetrated by Mr. Costello.

 From the beginning, Ryan Costello has taken no stand on his party’s process to select a nominee, choosing instead to defer to anyone whom he could use as a convenient scapegoat.

 When Trump became the presumptive nominee, Costello was among the first members of Congress to roll over for Trump just as he rolls over for the special interests who fund his campaigns. In doing so, my opponent ignored a significant number of voters from his own party, not to mention Independent and Democratic voters, whom he was elected to represent, and who do not support Trump and his radical, bigoted and narrow-minded agenda.

 Throughout the Primary process Mr. Costello has failed to make a statement or take issue with any of Trump’s racist, discriminatory or offensive positions, which is a tacit endorsement of Trump’s offensive platform.

 As Republicans of conscience are attempting to organize an effort to unbind delegates to the RNC and allow these individuals to vote their values, Costello is terrified that he may need to take a stand on something. As he has demonstrated time and again, my opponent will do almost anything to avoid letting his constituents know where he stands on any topic of importance.

 This could be Mr. Costello’s opportunity to stand up to Trump and stand up for his constituents and the values we all share in the Sixth District. Instead, he has passed the buck to party boss Val DiGioigio.

 As a real leader, I will not pass the buck, because I know the buck stops here. I will not abdicate responsibility because I need to focus on my campaign when I have real work to do as our representative in Congress. Unlike my opponent, I will put the citizens of the Sixth District, the American people and our nation ahead of partisan politics. That is the leadership we deserve.