One of Congress’s most vocal moderates has announced he’s stepping down.
Pennsylvania’s 15th District representative, Republican Charlie Dent, announced late on Thursday that he won’t seek reelection next year — a decision he said he came to in mid-summer.
Dent has cut a distinct path over the course of his seven terms in Congress.
Recently, he opposed a GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — a move that reportedly led President Donald Trump to tell Dent he was “destroying the Republican Party.”
Dent is a co-chair of the Tuesday Group, a caucus of moderates who call themselves the “governing wing” of the Republican party. He also chairs the appropriations subcommittee on military construction and veterans’ affairs.
In a statement, Dent said he’s done his best amid “increased polarization and ideological rigidity that leads to dysfunction, disorder, and chaos.”
His departure will open a second Republican seat in Pennsylvania, making the state a likely battleground in 2018.