Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey is expected to announce that he would not seek reelection in 2022, putting a key swing state in play, Politico reports.
Toomey, a two-term senator, had been considering whether to seek another term or run for governor. He is expected to announce this week that he will not run for either office and has already informed Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of his decision, according to the report.
Toomey won two tight races in 2010 and 2016, the latter being one of the most expensive and hotly contested Senate elections in history.
The race helped the GOP retain control of the Senate when President Donald Trump took office.
The decision is expected to set off a scramble in both parties in both the Senate and gubernatorial race.
Many potential candidates:
Several Democrats had already planned to challenge for the seat, including Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who lost his Senate primary in 2016.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro is also expected to seek one of the positions and state Treasurer Joe Torsella “will seriously consider running.” Several members of the House, including Conor Lamb and Chrissy Houlahan may jump into the fray as well.
On the GOP side, Reps. Ryan Costello and Mike Kelly are considered to be contenders, as is former Rep. Charlie Dent, a staunch Trump critic. Former Rep. Lou Barletta, who lost his 2018 Senate bid, may jump in as well.
Toomey was McConnell/Trump loyalist:
Toomey was a “loyal vote” for McConnell and Trump on most issues, though he has occasionally criticized some moves by the president.
Toomey said Trump’s decision to commute Roger Stone’s sentence was a “mistake” and opposed his decision to declare a “national emergency” at the Mexican border to syphon funds for his border wall.
Toomey also criticized Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden though he voted to acquit him in the Senate trial. He also voted in favor of the 2017 GOP tax cut and Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.