Lehigh Valley Congressman Charlie Dent (R-Allentown), who had long ago announced that he would not seek re-election, yesterday made public his plans to resign from the House sometime in May.
His decision to leave Congress early begins an interesting political situation. Under Pennsylvania election law, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) will have ten days from the official vacancy date to set the special replacement election. He must schedule the vote for no less than 60 days from the vacancy date but, after that requirement is met, he has great leeway over when to add the replacement contest to the election calendar.
Since the 15th District and the new 7th CD, which houses the majority (72%) of the former Dent district territory, are significantly different, the candidates will be in a situation of running in one place to fill the balance of the term and another to win a full term in the next Congress. Gov. Wolf likely solves the problem by simply scheduling the replacement special concurrently with the regular, November 6th general election.
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