Moderate GOP Rep. Charlie Dent announces retirement

Washington (CNN)Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election in 2018.

"It has been a high honor and great responsibility to serve the people of the 15th District, and I am proud of my time in Congress," Dent said in a statement. "Since the government shutdown in 2013, my family and I have engaged in periodic discussions regarding my future in public service. I have served as a legislator at the state and federal levels for nearly 27 years. I started that service prior to marrying my wife and the births of our three beloved children."
The moderate Republican congressman said he consulted with his family, as well as a close group of friends and staffers, to make the decision on whether or not to run again. He said that he ultimately decided mid-summer.
    National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers said that the Pennsylvania lawmaker's "leadership in Congress will be sorely missed," and added that he expects the seat to remain in Republican hands.
    "From reforming the broken VA to ensuring every child has access to a high-quality education, Congressman Dent has championed conservative values since taking office in 2005," Stivers said. " ... Voters sent a clear message by delivering the district for President (Donald) Trump last November -- and we are confident that PA-15 will remain solidly under Republican control."
    Dent, who was a moderate voice on the Hill, said he plans to continue to advocate for the "sensible center" politically even after he retires.
    "I promise to continue my role, both inside and soon outside of government, of giving voice to the sensible center and working to solve problems for the American people through smart policy -- the product of negotiation, cooperation and inevitably, compromise," he said.