WASHINGTON -

Berks County is now guaranteed to have at least one new representative in the U.S. House of Representatives next year.

U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach, a Republican who represents Pennsylvania's 6th District, announced Monday afternoon that he will not seek a seventh term in Congress.

“Nearing the end of my sixth term in the House and following 12 years of public service in the Pennsylvania House and Senate, it is simply time for me to move on to new challenges and to spend more time with my wife and family, who have been extremely supportive and have made significant sacrifices during my tenure in public office," Gerlach said in a statement.

"While I will not be seeking re-election, I fully intend to continue working with my legislative staff to deliver the highest-quality constituent service the residents of this district deserve through the remainder of my term," continued Gerlach, who was first elected to Congress in 2002.

The 6th District includes parts of Berks, Chester, Lebanon and Montgomery counties.

Gerlach, 58, lives in Chester Springs, Chester Co.