PA-Sen: No Rightward Leverage For Specter
Pat Toomey, who nearly defeated Arlen Specter in 2004, won't try a second primary:
Former Lehigh Valley Congressman Pat Toomey has decided against a repeat run for Senate in 2010, turning instead toward a possible bid for governor as he reaches out to Republicans statewide to assess his potential candidacy next year.
Toomey, president of the anti-tax group The Club for Growth, is scheduled to sit down with several influential and deep-pocketed Lehigh Valley Republicans in early February to “discuss his thinking of a possible gubernatorial run,” according to an e-mail invitation sent out Friday on behalf of Arcadia Properties founder Richard Thulin.
He has also put calls out statewide to supporters this week with the aim of raising money to do some preliminary polling.
At the same time, Toomey has dropped consideration of a repeat run for Senate in 2010.
I'm OK with this. I know people think that a tough primary damages an incumbent, but Specter survived Toomey in '04 and then cruised to victory. Plus, this is more substantively better for the Obama agenda than anything. Specter will now have to be more worried of a challenge from a Democrat than a Republican, and presumably he'll vote accordingly. He's already become the only Republican male to vote for the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and as 2010 approaches he'll probably need to cross the aisle more.
Specter is still among the most threatened incumbents in 2010.