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Moderate GOP Rep. Charlie Dent Won't Seek Re-Election


Moderate Republican Congressman Charlie Dent, R-Penn., announced Thursday evening he will not run for re-election to an eighth term next year.

"Today, I am announcing that I will not seek re-election in 2018 for another term in the U.S. House of Representatives," Dent said in a statement.

He added, "It has been a high honor and great responsibility to serve the people of the 15th District, and I am proud of my time in Congress."

Dent indicated he decided not to seek another term in mid-summer after discussions with a small group of immediate family, friends and senior staff.

The seven-term congressman, co-chair of the centrist Tuesday Group, noted that he had never planned on serving more than five or six terms.

Dent's statement suggests his decision was partly based on dissatisfaction with the gridlock that has gripped Washington in recent years.

"As a member of the governing wing of the Republican Party, I've worked to instill stability, certainty and predictability in Washington," Dent said. "I've fought to fulfill the basic functions of Government, like keeping the lights on and preventing default."

He added, "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."

The announcement also comes a day after Pennsylvania state Representative Justin Simmons launched a primary challenge against Dent.

Dent's retirement is likely to create another target for Democrats after fellow moderate Republican Congressman Dave Reichert, R-Wash., announced his retirement on Wednesday.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesperson Evan Lukaske noted former President Barack Obama won Dent's district in 2008 and narrowly lost in 2012. President Donald Trump won the district last year.

"Democrats are confident that a strong candidate will step up to run and represent the people of the 15th Congressional District in November," Lukaske said.

However, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, expressed confidence the seat will remain in Republican hands.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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