Congressman Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) abruptly announced on Tuesday his intent to resign from the U.S. House of Representatives “in the coming weeks.”
Dent, 57, a frequent critic of President Trump, revealed in September 2017 he would not seek an eighth term by running in the 2018 mid-terms.
At the time, Dent told reporters he had not initially planned on serving more than “five or six” terms in Congress, but had unexpectedly found himself in his seventh.
Mr. Dent is expected to leave Congress in May.
“After discussions with my family and careful reflection, I have decided to leave Congress in the coming weeks. 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,” Dent said in a statement.
Although Dent did not elaborate on his immediate future, his statement hinted he intends to remain close to the political scene and “aggressively advocate for responsible governance and pragmatic solutions in the coming years.”
Dent later told Roll Call he will make a decision on his career going forward in the coming weeks.
Known for his fiscal conservatism, Dent supported then House Ways and Means Committee chair Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget proposal, the Path to Prosperity, which would have dramatically overhauled health and tax policy.
Dent also co-chairs the GOP’s Tuesday Group, a caucus of Republican moderates founded in 1994 as an equalizer to the conservative wing in the House. Dent also chaired the House Committee for Ethics from 2015–’17.
Serving the Keystone State’s 15th District, Dent represents a district which is being revised and renamed the 7th following a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling which determined the state’s congressional map to be overly gerrymandered. Without Dent running, the new congressional seat has been rated by experts as “Tilts Democratic” to “Toss-up”.
A native of Allentown, Dent graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1982 with a degree in international politics. After briefly working in fundraising at Lehigh University, Dent later served on the staff of former Congressman Don Ritter.
Prior to his seven terms in Congress, Dent served as a member of the Pennsylvania State House for 14 years.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated.
[AP via Lancaster Online] [Roll Call] [Photo courtesy Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Axios]