On Thursday, Republican Congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump an is the leader of an influential caucus of GOP moderates in the House, revealed in an announcement that he will not seek re-election to an eighth House term next year.
Dent said in an interview that he never intended to serve as long as he has. But he also said the polarization and conflict on Capitol Hill that make even routine legislating difficult “get tiring.”
“Clearly there are challenges here,” Dent said. “I worry that with both political parties there is a growing protectionism, nativism and at times nihilism.”
Dent is among a dying breed of centrist Republicans on Capitol Hill, and just the most recent GOP moderate to announce plans to leave Congress. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Dave Reichert of Washington also plan to retire after their current terms expire, and all three departures create potential pickup opportunities for Democrats as they aim to retake control of the House next year.
Dent’s district of east-central Pennsylvania, including Allentown, leans slightly Republican and is certain to be heavily contested by both parties.
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