Pennsylvania GOP Congressman will leave Congress before term expires


U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (R., Pa.) will leave office in May, he announced Tuesday morning, hastening his planned departure from Congress.

Dent, who has represented the Lehigh Valley-based district since 2005, announced in September that he would not be seeking reelection.

The vacancy can trigger a special election to fill the last few months of Dent's term, which expires at the end of the year.

Then, due to redistricting, numerous same voters will head back to the polls to choose Dent's replacement in the 7th District.

He said he made the decision after discussing it with his family and careful reflection.

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"Once Gov. Wolf receives an official resignation notice with an exact date, he will make a formal decision regarding scheduling the date of a special election", the governor's office said in a statement.

Voters will choose congressional contenders for the newly drawn 7th District in the May 15 primary.

Dent already said he will not run for re-election in the midterm elections this year.

Dent, a Pennsylvania Republican, added he would "continue to aggressively advocate for responsible governance and pragmatic solutions in the coming years".

Dent is pursuing numerous job opportunities but had no definitive plans as of Tuesday, his spokesman said.

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They said it's likely both parties will treat the elections separately. Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-6th District, made a decision to retire rather than face a tough re-elect. "While we do not agree on everything, Charlie has always been approachable, and he has always put his constituents above partisan politics". "Serving the people of the 15th Congressional district has been a tremendous responsibility and the privilege of a lifetime, and I am honored by the trust that so many of my constituents placed in me to represent them in Washington".

But, the state Supreme Court redrew the commonwealth's congressional map for the 2018 election as the result of its redistricting ruling. "I'm proud to lead this bipartisan effort in the House of Representatives that will ensure the Special Counsel can complete his work and that faith in our most fundamental democratic processes is not further eroded". He also chairs the appropriations subcommittee on military construction and veterans' affairs.

Dent's district is in eastern Pennsylvania.

Charlie Dent has reportedly been an outstanding moderate voice in a frequently conservative House Republican conference.

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