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Dent to Retire

Congressman Charlie Dent (R-Lehigh) announced he will not seek re-election next year.

City & State PA was the first to report that Dent would not be running in 2018.

“Today, I am announcing that I will not seek reelection in 2018 for another term in the U.S. House of Representatives. 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 said in a statement to the Morning Call.

Dent, first elected in 2004, is a leader of the moderate GOP Tuesday Group in Congress and emerged as a vocal critic of President Trump.

He was facing a primary challenge by state Rep. Justin Simmons, but reportedly made his decision before Simmons entered the race.

The 15th district stretches from the Lehigh Valley to the Harrisburg suburbs. President Trump won the district by 7.6 points in 2016.

Dent’s decision creates a second open seat in Pennsylvania. Congressman Lou Barletta is not running for his seat while he runs for Senate next year. It will be three if Rep. Tom Marino is confirmed as the U.S. ‘Drug Czar’.

Dent’s full statement is below.

Today, I am announcing that I will not seek reelection in 2018 for another term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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.

Since the government shutdown in 2013, my family and I have engaged in periodic discussions regarding my future in public service. I have served as a legislator at the state and federal levels for nearly 27 years. I started that service prior to marrying my wife and the births of our three beloved children.

Earlier this year, my family discussions about the future increased in frequency, and I looped in a small group of immediate family, friends and senior staff, ultimately deciding in mid-summer that I would not seek another term. Frankly, I never planned on serving, voters permitting, more than 5 or 6 terms in the US Congress. I’m now serving my seventh term. In 2014, my seniority on the House Appropriations Committee elevated me to the rank of subcommittee chairman or “Cardinal” — a much coveted position in the House and one that carries great responsibility. Additionally, I was selected to serve as Chairman of the House Ethics Committee, the only Committee that requires bipartisan cooperation to act, for the 2015-16 Congress. Sitting at the Chairman’s table was an honor and it gave me an opportunity to have a direct hand in shaping the direction of the 114th Congress.

Meanwhile, I served, and continue to serve, as Co-chair of the Tuesday Group Caucus, a group of more than 50 center-right Republicans dedicated to effective and responsible governance. As the group gained in both number of members and influence in Congress, I believed it was critical for me to amplify the group’s voice, both internally within Congress and publicly in the media, and use that voice to advance Tuesday Group member initiatives.

From my role as a senior appropriator, advisor to the Speaker in his weekly meetings, co-chair of the Tuesday Group, Chair of the Congressional Study Group on Germany, participation in the Problem Solvers, co-chair of the Cancer, Medical Research, Cement, Hydrogen, Heritage Areas and other Caucuses, I have done my best to make a meaningful, positive impact. As a member of the governing wing of the Republican Party, I’ve worked to instill stability, certainty and predictability in Washington. I’ve fought to fulfill the basic functions of Government, like keeping the lights on and preventing default.

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. But I have also had a stake in major legislative accomplishments: budget agreements that prioritize our federal commitments, pro-growth trade and tax policy, initiatives to advance medical innovation and research, major infrastructure investments, and policies that secure our homeland.

I promise to continue my role, both inside and soon outside of 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.

I want to thank the people of Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Berks, Dauphin and Lebanon counties for giving me this tremendous opportunity to serve and their steadfast support and confidence in me all these years.

I can never thank you enough. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

It’s been the honor and privilege of a lifetime.

47 Responses

  1. Dent is the first of the four stooges who needed to be voted out of office. Along with Ryan Costello, pat Meehan and Fitzpatrick they are collectively political hacks and pimps who gave us mediocrity, John Boehner and Paul Ryan. They are all incompetent and we would be better with real democrats than these clowns who represent the worst in our body politic. Dent is a politicial fraud- who represents only his own self interests- not the people who elected him.
    Good riddance to garbage like Dent!

    1. Let’s not go overboard; I disagreed with Charlie [vide infra] but he was not “garbage”…although I also concur the others merit being primarily-challenged.

  2. I think for John Callahan should run for congress again in 2018 and i will support him too as a Democrat.

    1. I also think for Northampton County Executive John Brown also should run for congress in 2018 as well and i think for he will be a great frontrunner in the race for the 15th congressional district in Pennsylvania.

      1. I also think for John Morganelli should also run for congress in 2018 as well as a Democratic frontrunner.

      2. John Brown got his ass kicked last year in his statewide Race. Poor showing by him. May hurt the rest of his political career.

  3. Dent is a great man, and we should all thank him for his bravery in the House. He stood up for what he believed in and led a coalition of individuals that may just save the Republican Party. Ryan MacKenzie will be a great replacement for him after he wipes the floor with Justin’s sorry, lying, hitler youth ass.

    1. Hitler? Really? I guess this is to be expected from a guy who uses the work EVIL as your username. Good God! #TEAMJUSTINSIMMONS

        1. You don’t know me. You don’t know if I am a saint or a liar. But we do know Justin Simmons. We know he has lied about his support of Trump. We know he has lied about when that text message came in. He is lying directly to the face of the American people, why in God’s name would we want him in office lying to us and getting paid for it? He is a dirtball.

          1. Well, the full context of the text wasn’t shown. That just proves Dent is playing dirty politics, as usual. As for Ryan, he is tainted by the fact he is Dent’s successor.

  4. Majority of you clowns will believe that an incumbent Republican would lose this primary. Kind of how an incumbent Shuster lost his seat last cycle to a more conservative opponent, right? Again, I’ll allow you guys to pontificate.

  5. Dent hasn’t been a fan of Trump. But, without a re-election to worry about, he is free to criticize Trump and Trump can’t threaten Dent.

    1. @D2:

      right on-cue, you convert obvious capitulation into anti-Trumpism; Charlie [who knew me by-name when he saw me @ the Union League during a luncheon for Toomey 7 years ago, despite not having seen me since we met two decades ago when I was Prez of the PA Society of Internal Medicine] could not be a more dependable vote against each/every Trump initiative and, thus, demonstrated he is an incorrigible leader of the Congressional-libs.

      1. Wow!! In the same run-on sentence, Dr. who? turns a center-right into a Congressional lib. Genghis Khan is probably the new moderate?

        1. notwithstanding this provocative note, my observation stands; Constitutional Conservatives are cheering this event, even as a second competitor for this seat has emerged from our ranks

          1. Democrats are cheering this as well, Doc. Even Gerrymandering won’t save the 15th for the GOP now.

          2. It is desirable for elected leaders to help The Donald fight the culture-war and it is hoped that the primary voters will opt for the candidate who is better equipped to do so … in this and in all districts where the R-nominee will be empowered to invoke a supercharged economy.

  6. It is sad to see a center-right, moderate Republican retire. Thank you Congressman Dent for your service.

    1. Charlie has consistently espoused Dem-positions during the past year; he should please enjoy retirement.

  7. Sad to see. The GOP is going full Trump. Maybe they will go into the history books like the Whigs.

  8. The differences people may have had with Congressman Dent are unimportant. Mr. Dent was a man of incredibly integrity, something that is becoming increasingly rare. It’s easy to be a rubber stamp and not think for yourself. As the late great Albus Dumbledore said “it takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” He did so and he did so brilliantly.

    Thank you for your service, Charlie.

    1. It’s a shame that honesty isn’t sufficient, particularly when the stakes have been so high.

  9. Thank you Rep Dent. I disagreed with you most of the time. But you are an honest public servant, along the lines of John McCain. That is rare and your sensible approach will be missed.

    1. Please, John McCain and Charlie Dent are the reason there is so much angst in this country!!!! They are NOT honorable people! Get a grip!

      1. McCain is a Soros guy. He is nothing but, a globalist. He doesn’t represent the interests of the American people. As for Dent, he is nothing but, a liberal democrat. They are both wolves in sheep clothing and now, that Trump is president both of these have been exposed as the charlatans that they really are.

        1. Sadly, concur; for example, McCain conveyed the grossly-false/salacious anti-Trump Dossier to the DoJ.

        2. And you think Justin Simmon’s is not also a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He is nothing but a liar and a political opportunist. As fake of a politician there is. A career with nothing to show of it… not even honesty to the people he represents.

    1. Charlie won by a larger margin in every single precinct in his district than President Trump. But that’s none of my business.

        1. LOL bruising in the primary, you’re hilarious. I hope he keeps telling himself that so when he finds himself living under a bridge down by the river he has something to reflect on. I almost feel sorry for Justin, almost. He’s got no career to fall back on when he loses his house seat and bid for congress. But I did see wawa was hiring all shifts, all positions – I can pick him up a resume if you want?

          1. Its ok #neverdent aka justin, i sincerely hope you keep your confidence up. I was the only viable and real opponent Charlie ever had and he destroyed me so badly I lost to John Brown and I didn’t have half the dirt on me that you do. Good luck, have fun, don’t die.

        2. But then the “base” is out of touch with reality. Climate change is still a hoax? Tell that to flooded Texas and soon to be flooded Florida, Georgia, etc.

          1. Also, they don’t have any dirt on Simmons. The usual tactic of lying their a$$ off wont work. Everyone, know Charlie’s M.O.

        3. subsequent “events” have undermined the credibility of the anti-Simmons posters on this page

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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