Charles "Charlie" Dent (born May 24, 1960) is the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district, serving since 2005. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district includes all of Northampton County, most of Lehigh County, and small parts of Berks and Montgomery Counties.
Early life, education, and early career
Dent was born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is a 1978 graduate of Allentown's William Allen High School. He received a Bachelor's in International Politics from Pennsylvania State University in 1982 and a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University in 1993.
He is a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity.
He previously worked as a development officer for Lehigh University, an industrial electronics salesman, a hotel clerk, and an aide to U.S. Representative Donald L. Ritter.
Before being elected to the United States Congress, Dent was a member of the State Legislature for 14 years. He represented Pennsylvania's 132nd house district from 1991 to 1999 after unseating Democratic incumbent Jack Pressman in a heavily Democratic district in 1990. In 1998, Dent won an open 16th District Senate seat when Democrat Roy Afflerbach (who later served as Mayor of Allentown from 2002 to 2006) retired to take up an ultimately unsuccessful bid for Congress.
U.S. House of Representatives
Dent was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2004, succeeding Pat Toomey, who gave up his seat to challenge Arlen Specter for the U.S. Senate. He defeated Democrat Joe Driscoll 59%-39%.
He won re-election 54%-44% against Charles Dertinger.
He won re-election 59%-41% against Allentown Democratic Party Chairman Sam Bennett.
Dent won a re-election against Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan with 54% of the vote, the smallest percent of the vote he received in his four elections.
Dent is a proponent of hydrogen fuel and is one of the four founding members of the House Hydrogen Fuel Cell Caucus. In 2006 he proposed legislation aimed at promoting the rollout of commercial hydrogen fueling stations. Dent envisions the development of a "Hydrogen Highway East," similar to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's plans for a Hydrogen Highway on the West Coast.
Dent is a member of The Republican Main Street Partnership.
In 2007 he was elected to co-chair the Republican "Tuesday Group," a centrist organization of Congressional Republicans.
As a Republican representing a district with Democratic leanings, he sometimes crosses party lines on legislation. In December 2010, Dent was one of fifteen Republican House members to vote in favor of repealing the United States military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on openly gay service members.
Dent is a staunch advocate of a federal prohibition of online poker. In 2006, he cosponsored H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.
He voted against Federal intervention in the Terri Schiavo case. Dent replied afterwards that he opposed government intervention in a personal matter and would have voted the same way had courts sided with Schiavo's parents.
In April 2010, Dent introduced a resolution urging the U.S.
State Department to issue a "certificate of loss of nationality" to Anwar al-Awlaki. He said al-Awlaki "preaches a culture of hate" and had been a functioning member of al-Qaeda "since before 9/11", and had effectively renounced his citizenship by engaging in treasonous acts.
In April 2011, Dent voted in favor of a 2012 budget proposal authored by Paul Ryan entitled The Path to Prosperity, which included several controversial changes to both health care and tax policy. Dent said of the bill that, "It's a serious, sober document...There are some things in there that I think are interesting."
In January 2012, en co-sponsored the Enemy Expatriation Act with Senator Joe Lieberman. The proposal would allow the United States government to strip U.S. citizens of their citizenship without requiring that the citizen have been convicted of a crime.
At the start of the 112th Congress, Dent received a new position on the coveted House Appropriations Committee, and continues to serve on the House Eth
Dent is married to Pamela Dent and has three children.
January 31st, 2012