Dent Possibly to Retire Early, Setting Up Special Election
“Dent, who has already said he will not seek re-election next year, confirmed he has had conversations with TV news executives about becoming an analyst, raising the possibility that he would leave his seat early and create yet another special election for his party,” the New York Times reported.
“I have no definitive plans,” Dent said.
The move would set off another special election ahead of the 2018 general election. It has been rumored among Republican and conservative activists that Dent would resign early since he announced he would not be running for re-election.
If a special election were triggered, the candidates for both parties would be decided through processes dictated by the respective party bylaws.
For Republicans, the county chairs would choose conferees from within their county to vote on the nominee. Some conservative activists have said this would be a way for Dent to choose his own successor.
On the Democratic side, the county committees from within the district would meet to vote on a nominee who would then be approved by the state party’s executive committee.
A special election would likely increase already strong tensions in the district between the more moderate Republicans who have supported Dent, and the more conservative Trump supporters who have pushed against Dent, including holding an anti-Dent event earlier this year.
Dent won the district in 2016 by 20 points, while Trump won the district by eight.