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US Rep. Charlie Dent not running for 8th term


Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, a seven-term congressman representing the state’s 15th District, announced Thursday that he will not be seeking re-election to an eighth term in 2018.

Dent said he made his decision mid-summer, but not running again is something he’s considered for far longer.

“Since the government shutdown in 2013, my family and I have engaged in periodic discussions regarding my future in public service,” Dent said. “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.”

Dent confessed that he actually never planned on serving more than five or six terms in Congress.

“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,” Dent said. “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.”


Serving as the committee’s chairman, Dent said, gave him 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,” Dent said. “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.”

Dent said he will continue a role 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.”

Dent said he thanks his district’s constituents in Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lehigh, and Northampton counties for their “steadfast support” and allowing him to serve.

“I can never thank you enough… It’s been the honor and privilege of a lifetime,” he said.

Representative Justin Simmons, who recently announced his run against Dent, issued the following statement:

“I think Charlie Dent came to the right conclusion and realized his values were not in line with the Republican voters of this district anymore. I am running to be a new conservative voice that the voters deserve, not the handpicked successor of the political class. I look forward to earning the trust of the people in the 15th district this coming year.” 

PA Workforce Development Association