Finance - September 8, 2017

Dent not seeking reelection to Congress

Republican Congressman Charlie Dent will not be seeking reelection in 2018. Dent represents the 15th Congressional District in the Lehigh Valley. Dent was facing a primary challenger, state Representative Justin Simmons.  Dent has taken a more vocal position on some key issues – he opposed repealing Obamacare and he also spoke out against President Trump’s travel ban. And because of that he had recently been subject to mounting criticism and protests outside his district offices. Dent released a statement saying he had “worked to instill stability, certainty and predictability in Washington” but that it had “not been easy” given the current political climate.

Simmons, for his part, had said that Dent was on the “wrong side of every issue.” Simmons was first elected to the state House in 2010 during the “tea party wave.” He ran with a pledge to only serve three terms; he broke that pledge and is currently serving his fourth term. He cited the reason for breaking that campaign promise as the job being more difficult than he had anticipated.

Also throwing his hat in the ring for Dent’s seat this morning is state House Representative Ryan Mackenzie. Mackenzie did not make mention of Dent in his statement to run; instead focusing on his priorities: border security, tax relief, and increased wages. The primary match up makes this race one to watch next May. Simmons will not seek reelection for his House seat; putting all his effort into a Congressional run.  

Toohil will not seek Barletta seat

Republican state Representative Tarah Toohil has said she will not pursue Congressman Lou Barletta’s seat. Barletta’s seat. Toohil had said she had been getting calls about the possibility of running prior to Barletta’s official announcement to run against Sen. Bob Casey. Now she says that she will back Republican Dan Meuser. Meuser made his first campaign stop in Dauphin County at a Steelton fire hall this week and has said he’ll support Trump’s “America First” agenda.