Rep. Charlie Dent to Resign; PA Republican had Previously Decided Against a 2018 Run

April 17, 2018

Rep. Charlie Dent announced he would resign from Congress "in the coming weeks". The Pennsylvania Republican, in his 7th term, had previously announced he would not seek re-election in 2018.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf must announce a special election date within 10 days of a vacancyComplicating matters is this year's court ordered redistricting in the state. Dent's 15th congressional district will largely become part of the new 7th district. However, any special election would take place using the current district boundaries, as these remain effective for purposes of representation until the new Congress is seated in 2019.

There may be a way around this - we don't know - but here's an interesting scenario:

Given the timing, from a cost perspective it likely makes the most sense to have this special election on the same date as the midterm elections. When these concurrent elections happen, the same nominees are usually on the ballot for both races, and thus the winner of the special election is normally also going to be the winner of the election for the subsequent full term. 

However, in this case, two different sets of voters would be involved on the same day - those in the current 15th district for the special election and those in the new 7th district for the full term. While the 15th district voted for Trump by about 8% in 2016, the new 7th district actually voted for Clinton by 1%. As a result, it is possible that the winner of the special election could lose the regular election and thus this person would only serve in Congress during the few weeks of a lame-duck session.

comments powered by Disqus

Headlines

Overview & Live Results: Battleground State House Special Election in Georgia

Georgia will fill two vacancies in its state house, including a battleground district in suburban Atlanta. There's also a special primary in Wisconsin.

Poll: Adams Leads Competitive NYC Mayoral Race; Primary is Next Tuesday

Adams, Garcia, Wiley and Yang all see double-digit support, with Adams reaching majority support in the ranked choice simulation

New Orleans State Senate District 7 Special All Party Primary Election

The former incumbent, Democrat Troy Carter, resigned after being elected to Congress in an April special election.

GOP Rep. Vicky Hartzler to Run for Open Missouri U.S. Senate Seat

She joins what will be a crowded field hoping to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Roy Blunt

Rep. Val Demings Announces 2022 Challenge to Sen. Marco Rubio

This move was widely expected and is now official. The Florida senate seat is one of 34 to be contested in 2022.