A new year has arrived, filled with new possibilities, challenges and opportunities.

I've compiled a list of 16 people worthy of attention in the new year. The list includes some statewide figures, but it reflects our readership in Berks County and the Tri-County area.

I wanted to focus on some people who aren't immediately obvious. So that's why Gov. Tom Wolf, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and state House Speaker Mike Turzai aren't listed below.

With statewide, congressional and state legislative elections coming this year, plenty of men and women in Pennsylvania politics will make noise in the coming year.

For now, here are 16 people who should make headlines in 2016.

Reading Eagle: Ben Hasty | U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent

3. Charlie Dent


A Lehigh County Republican who represents part of Berks County, Dent carries significant clout in Washington.

As co-chair of the moderate Tuesday Group, Dent has worked with others to try to build consensus and, you know, actually govern.

The group endorsed House Speaker Paul Ryan, a key factor in the Wisconsin Republican's success in winning the post.

Dent has also not been shy to criticize fellow Republicans, especially after some in the GOP voted to withhold money from the Department of Homeland Security because they opposed President Barack Obama's immigration reforms.

Dent has also been a vocal advocate for changes at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The agency has struggled for years in addressing its backlog of cases, with veterans waiting for years for answers on claims in some cases.

Contact News Editor Ron Southwick: 610-371-5010 or rsouthwick@readingeagle.com. - See more at: http://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/ron-southwick-16-people-to-watch-in-2016#sthash.RSHqNyMt.dpuf