Member Biography

Charles W. Dent 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1999       16 Republican
2000       16 Republican
2001       16 Republican
2002       16 Republican
2003       16 Republican
2004       16 Republican

COUNTIES: Lehigh, Northampton  


05/24/1960 -

Charles W. Dent (R16) Lehigh (Part) and Northampton (Part) Counties 1999-2004

Early Life:

Charles W. Dent, born May 24, 1960, Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania; son of Walter “Pete” and Marjorie WiederDent; William Allen High School, 1978; Penn State University, (B.A), foreign service and international politics, 1982; Lehigh University (M. S.), public administration, 1993; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1991-1998; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate 1999-2004; elected, Republican, United States House of Representatives, 2005-May 12, 2018; joined the law firm DLA Piper, as a non-attorney policy adviser; registered, lobbyist, following the mandatory one-year cooling off period; executive director, Aspen Institute Congressional Program (2021-present); married, Pamela Jane Serfass; three children.

Early Career:

Former sales representative, P.A. Peters, Incorporated; legislative correspondent and project coordinator, Pennsylvania Congressman Donald L. Ritter; former development officer, Lehigh University; board member, Ben Franklin/Industrial Resource Center Network (IRC) Partnership; board member, Crime Victims Council; board member, The Program for Women and Families; Presidential Advisory Board of Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital; Board of Ambassadors, Lehigh Carbon Community College; board member, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), 1991-1992; member, advisory council, Minsi Trails Council; member, Boy Scouts of America; member, First Presbyterian Church, Allentown; associate, Cedar Crest College.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives 1991-1998; not a candidate for reelection, 1998.

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate 16th district, Lehigh (Part) and Northampton (Part) Counties 1999; won an open senate seat, Democrat Roy Afflerbach (who later became Mayor of Allentown, 2002-2006) retired to take up an ultimately unsuccessful bid for Congress; committee assignments, Communications and High Technology, Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure (vice-chairman), Finance, Intergovernmental Affairs, State Government, Urban Affairs and Housing Commission; appointed, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, 2003-2004; appointed, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, 2003-2004; not a candidate for reelection, 2004; left office November 30, 2004.

Continued Government Service/National Politics: 

Elected, Republican, United States House of Representatives, succeeding Pat Toomey, who gave up his seat to challenge Arlen Specter, United States Senate; committee assignments, Committee on Appropriations; Chairman, United States House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies; Vice Chairman, United States House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs; United States House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; Chairman United States House Committee on Ethics; 2005- resigned, May 12, 2018.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives Biography:

Official Website - PA House Archives Official Website (


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members D"Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

Pennsylvania Manual, Biographies of Members of the Senate, page 3-14; Volume 114, December 1999.

Legislative Journal. Pennsylvania State Senate. 2005-01-04.  "Session of 2005 – 189th of the General Assembly – No. 1" (PDF). 

ABOUT | Charlie Dent (



Congressional Biography

After 6 session(s) serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Charles W. Dent  went on to serve in congress