Dent Draws Challenge From County Democratic Chairman

Posted July 20, 2011 at 11:01pm

Lehigh County Democratic Chairman Rick Daugherty announced Tuesday that he will challenge four-term Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) next year.

“I’m running because I’m very concerned about the budget cuts proposed by Congress, especially the cuts on Medicare, which will cause serious harm to senior citizens,” Daugherty told Roll Call in a phone interview Tuesday.

But Daugherty, who is also the executive director of the Lehigh County Senior Center, could have company in the primary. He said Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan told him two months ago that he was still thinking about a campaign. Callahan ran against Dent last year but lost by almost 15 points.

Regardless of which Democrats end up on the ballot, the 15th district could be very different in 2012. The Congressional boundaries will be redrawn to account for population shifts, including the loss of one House seat, in the Keystone State.

Dent represented a competitive district in the past, but the new map will likely shore up Republicans in his district because the GOP controls the redistricting process in Pennsylvania.