One of the most conservative and controversial state lawmakers in the Pennsylvania General Assembly is calling it a career.
State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, who currently serves as chair of the House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, announced Tuesday that he will retire at the end of his current term, capping off a 24-year tenure as a state representative.
“After family discussions, prayerful consideration and affirmation that God is calling me to a new adventure in life, I do not plan to seek re-election for state representative in 2022. I plan to finish my current term of office,” Metcalfe said in a statement announcing his retirement. “In the future, I plan to continue fighting in defense of our God-given rights and our Constitution wherein they are affirmed!”
Throughout his time in office, Metcalfe has emerged as one of the state House’s more controversial members, drawing attention for his dismissal of climate change, his defense of Second Amendment rights and, at times, his proclivity for making headline-grabbing statements.
As a key gatekeeper on climate-related legislation, Metcalfe has routinely thwarted attempts from House Democrats to push legislation to address climate change and has often invited those skeptical of the effects of climate change to testify before his committee. In 2019, a plan from Gov. Tom Wolf to tax natural gas extraction landed in Metcalfe’s committee, which effectively spelled the end for Wolf’s “Restore Pennsylvania” initiative. In recent years, Metcalfe has been one of the most vocal opponents of Wolf’s plan to regulate and put a price on carbon emissions.
Metcalfe has been a staunch critic of Wolf and has also introduced articles of impeachment against the Democratic governor in back-to-back legislative sessions.
He also made national headlines in 2017 when he made unusual remarks during a committee hearing (that drew laughs) after a fellow committee member, state Rep. Matt Bradford, touched Metcalfe’s arm. Metcalfe insinuated that Bradford’s tapping of his arm was motivated by his sexual orientation (Bradford is married with four children), with Metcalfe stating that he was “heterosexual.”
Metcalfe also hosted yearly Second Amendment rallies at the state Capitol, which often attracted hundreds of attendees.
He was first elected to the House in 1998 and was elected for a total of 12 terms throughout his political career. Metcalfe is an Army veteran and worked as an electronic technician and field engineer prior to entering politics. His current term ends on Nov. 30, 2022.
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