A key GOP moderate and outspoken critic of Donald Trump announced Thursday that he’s had enough of Washington and will not seek re-election next year for his seat in the House of Representatives.
Citing “disorder and chaos” in the age of Trump, Rep. Charlie Dent – a man who is in his seventh term in Congress – will retire, giving Democrats a chance to win his key Pennsylvania seat in the 2018 midterms.
The Trump critic prides himself on being a moderate who always tried to “fulfill the basic functions of government.”
“Regrettably, that has not been easy given the disruptive outside influences that profit from increased polarization and ideological rigidity that leads to dysfunction, disorder and chaos,” he continued, according to Politico.
As the news organization also noted on Thursday, Dent’s retirement is just the latest in a slew of moderate Republicans who are calling it quits as Washington spirals out of control with Trump at the helm.
“Dent’s retirement comes the day after another swing district Republican, Washington Rep. Dave Reichert, announced he was calling it quits,” Politico reported. “Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, another moderate, is also retiring. Democrats are certain to target all three seats in next year’s midterms.”
With an increasing number of moderate and pragmatic Republicans leaving the party, it’s likely that more radical, right-wing voices will swoop in to fill the void.
This may please the base of voters that helped propel Donald Trump to the presidency, but in the long term it will worsen government gridlock and give Democrats a chance to win over vulnerable seats in Congress.