The Lead

Report: Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey expected not to run for Senate or governor in 2022

By: - October 4, 2020 3:27 pm

Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican who has represented the state for two terms in the U.S. Senate, is expected to announce that he will not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate or run for governor in 2022, according to a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Toomey had been viewed as a prohibitive Republican favorite in either race, and his decision leaves a wide-open GOP primary for the two major elected offices.

Toomey’s spokesman declined to comment Sunday. But the senator is expected to make an announcement Monday.

Before running for Senate, Toomey, 58, of Lehigh County, had previously served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and then led the D.C.-based anti-tax group Club for Growth. He joined the Senate after a 2010 race in which then-Republican Sen. Arlen Specter switched political parties to avoid the primary challenge. Specter lost in the primary, and Toomey defeated Democrat Joe Sestak in the general election.

Toomey eked out a narrow re-election win in 2016, when he was dogged by questions about whether he supported Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Toomey declined to publicly back Trump until he cast his own ballot, shortly before polls closed.

Since the 2016 election, Toomey has been targeted by liberal activists who have rallied outside his offices, criticizing him as not standing up strongly enough to Trump.

Toomey was a key figure in writing the 2018 Republican tax bill. He also drew national spotlight for a gun-background check bill crafted with West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, an effort that failed repeatedly to gain enough support to clear the Senate.

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Laura Olson
Laura Olson

Laura Olson covers the nation's capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit outlets that includes Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.