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Pennsylvania

Dent voices reasoning behind his plan to leave Congress

HARRISBURG, Pa. - "I think it was the right time personally to move on and pursue some other opportunities," said U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent said of his decision not to seek an eighth term in Congress.

Dent said when he would leave office has been a family discussion since 2013, but the decision to do it now was actually made in July. He said it had nothing to do with any upcoming political challenges, and he is perfectly healthy, but some still question the timing, wondering if Dent has his eye on another office.

"No. I have no plans to run for any office in 2018, although a lot of people have tried to encourage me to run for either governor or U.S. Senate. I have just determined it's not something that I want to do right now," Dent said.

Dent said he's been overwhelmed with calls of congratulations and pleas to reconsider. He said the current dysfunctional political climate was only part of his decision to pursue other opportunities outside government, opportunities, he said, that will continue to give a voice to the sensible center.

"I hope, I believe, I have been effective and I've made an impact, and that's all I ever want to do -- have an impact and, at the end of the day, that's the most important thing," Dent said.

For the remainder of his term, Dent said he will focus on the needs of the people. He leaves office as the chairman of the House Ethics Committee, the subcommittee chair of the House Appropriations Committee, and the co-chair of the Tuesday Group Caucus.

For that reason, some said he will be a hard act to follow.


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