A source close to Congressman Charlie Dent told City&State PA that the six-term Republican will not stand for reelection in PA’s 15th Congressional district.
UPDATE: Shortly after the publication of this story, Dent released a full statement announcing his retirement.
"As a member of the governing wing of the Republican Party, I've worked to instill stability, certainty and predictability in Washington...Regrettably, that has not been easy given the disruptive outside influences that profit from increased polarization and ideological rigidity," Dent wrote. "I promise to continue my role, both inside and soon outside of government, of giving voice to the sensible center and working to solve problems for the American people through smart policy."
The news comes on the heels of increasing tensions between Dent and state Rep. Justin Simmons, who accused the more-moderate Dent of colluding with Democrats. In turn, Dent last week released several private text messages between himself and Simmons, aimed at embarrassing the state representative.
Dent’s district spans the Lehigh Valley area and outlying areas, notably including several areas with large Syrian populations. First elected in 2004, more recently Dent has broken with the Trump administration on attempts to bar entry of Syrian refugees, amongst other issues.
“Charlie Dent has completely gone off the rails,” Simmons said in his campaign kick-off announcement. “Dent has been on the wrong side of every major issue from ObamaCare, spending, border security and the list goes on.”
Dent has said his decision was made "months" ago after consultation with his family and – despite the timing – not due to Simmons’ challenge.
Simmons did not immediately respond to a press inquiry.