Dent resigns, to leave Congress next month

- April 17, 2018

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), a frequent critic of President Donald Trump and leader of a moderate band of House Republicans, has decided to quit Congress next month.

Dent had already announced his retirement, but will now not serve out his term through the end of the year.

"After discussions with my family and careful reflection, I have decided to leave Congress in the coming weeks," Dent said in a statement. "It is my intention to continue to aggressively advocate for responsible governance and pragmatic solutions in the coming years."

Multiple sources say Dent has been considering a television gig, though it's not clear if that's his only post-Congress plan.

Dent has been in elected office since 1991, when he joined the Pennsylvania House. He came to Congress in 2005 and has represented his Allentown-based district since. He's a co-chairman of the moderate Tuesday Group, which has generally partnered with House GOP leaders and represents many of the most vulnerable members of the Republican conference.

Dent clashed with Trump during a brutal 2017 fight over replacing Obamacare, which ultimately failed. At the time, the New York Times Magazine reported that Trump confronted Dent during a White House meeting and accused him of "destroying the Republican Party."

On Friday, Dent filed legislation that would protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation from any attempt by Trump or his administration to remove him. He's one of three House Republicans who have signaled support for such a measure in recent days.

Dent announced his retirement in September, amid threats from Trump allies to mount a primary against him.
His district has leaned slightly in favor of Republicans. It chose Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016 by a seven-point margin; Dent won by 20 points that year. But it's turf that Democrats intend to contest in a midterm environment expected to favor Democratic gains.

It's unclear whether there will be a special election to fill the seat ahead of the November elections.


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