Dent announces retirement from House

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), a key House moderate from a swing district, announced Thursday that he would not seek reelection next year for an eighth term.

“I’ve worked to instill stability, certainty, and predictability in Washington,” Dent, a co-chairman of the moderate Tuesday Group, said in a statement.

“Regrettably, that has not been easy given the disruptive outside influences that profit from increased polarization and ideological rigidity that leads to dysfunction, disorder, and chaos,” he said.

Dent indicated that he decided in “mid-summer” to retire from Congress after having “periodic discussions” with family about his future in public office since the 2013 government shutdown.

{mosads}The Pennsylvania Republican had a history of stressing bipartisanship, including urging Democratic support for a bill to fund the government earlier in the summer, which had been stalled by infighting among Republicans.

He had also criticized the White House for failing to communicate key principles on health care reform after Republicans failed to repeal and replace ObamaCare in July.

In his statement announcing his retirement, Dent touted his appointment to the House Ethics Committee for 2015-2016, noting that it is “the only Committee that requires bipartisan cooperation to act.” 

“I promise to continue my role, both inside and soon outside the government, of giving voice to the sensible center and working to solve problems for the American people through smart policy- the product of negotiation, cooperation and inevitably, compromise,” he said.

Dent joins other Republicans from potential swing districts who have announced their retirement, including Reps. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.).

Dent represents Pennsylvania’s 15th District, which President Trump won in 2016 with 51.8 percent of the vote. 

His district includes all of Lehigh County and parts of Berks County, Dauphin County, Lebanon County and Northampton County. Lehigh County and Dauphin County voted in favor of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016, while Trump won the other three counties. 

— Updated: 8:45 p.m.

Tags Dave Reichert Hillary Clinton

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