Too liberal? Congressman Charlie Dent gets GOP primary challenger

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – To many people, Republican Congressman Charlie Dent’s moderate stances are a welcome change from an increasingly rightward-lurching GOP in Washington.

State Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton) is not one of those people.

“Charlie Dent is beyond a moderate Republican. Charlie Dent is a liberal Republican,” Simmons said Wednesday in announcing his GOP primary challenge to Dent’s seat in the 15th Congressional district, which includes parts of Lebanon and Dauphin counties. “Basically, on every issue important to conservatives, he betrays us and people have had it.”

Simmons, 31, calls Dent an obstructionist to President Donald Trump’s priorities and too vocal a critic of the commander-in-chief. “I like to say he’s a Trojan horse in the caucus because he tries to undermine the Republican agenda,” Simmons said.

“I like to say he’s a Trojan horse in the caucus because he tries to undermine the Republican agenda,” Simmons said.

Dent has held the seat since 2005 and is the fourth most senior member of Pennsylvania’s Republican delegation. On Simmons’ candidacy, Dent released the following statement to ABC27 News:

“The voters of the 15th Congressional district know that I have always served as a strong and independent voice carrying their concerns to Washington. I look forward to Justin’s failed record in Harrisburg and his long history of misleading the people he was elected to represent being fully exposed.”

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