Charlie Dent Leaving Congress At Week's End

Special election for his Pennsylvania seat expected to occur same day as Nov. 6 general

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., is leaving Congress this week after submitting his formal resignation effective Saturday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Charlie Dent is serving his last week of Congress, having submitted his formal resignation effective May 12. 

Dent, co-chairman of the moderate Republican Tuesday Group, had announced on April 17 that he would be resigning sometime in May. His decision to leave Congress early came as he neared a decision on several professional opportunities he had been considering for his retirement. 

Dent is expected to take a cable television job. 

The House clerk on Tuesday read Dent’s resignation latter on the floor. It takes effect Saturday at 11:59 p.m.. The House is scheduled to finish legislative business by 3 p.m. Thursday.

Under state law, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, has 10 days after the vacancy is official to declare a special election.

Wolf signaled last week —when announcing that the special election to replace Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Patrick Meehan, who resigned April 27, would occur on the same day as the Nov. 6 general election — that Dent’s would occur then too. Specifically, he said he would schedule other congressional special elections for Nov. 6, unless a vacancy occurs within 60 days of the general election.

The special election could cause some confusion on the November ballot. The state Supreme Court issued a new congressional map for the 2018 elections, and Dent’s 15th District was redrawn and renumbered the 7th District.

The special election will take place using the old map, so the winner of the special election will serve out the final two months of Dent’s term representing the 15th District. The winner of the general election will represent the new 7th District.

Inside Elections with Nathan Gonzales rates the race for the new 7th District as Tilts Democratic. 

Bridget Bowman and Lex Samuels contributed to this report. 

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