Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey has announced that he will not run for reelection in 2022.
“I will not be running for reelection in 2022 and I will not be running for governor,” Toomey said. “I will serve out the remainder of my term.”
The senator added that after his term, “my plan is to go back to the private sector.”
The decision by Toomey will likely create a competitive battle for his battleground-state seat in two years.
Toomey first won his seat in a tight race in 2010, before winning a narrow reelection in 2016 in one of the most expensive Senate races in history, which helped Republicans hold onto their Senate majority as President Donald Trump took office.
Now, Toomey’s retirement means that both a Senate seat and the governorship will be open in Pennsylvania in 2022, setting off a scramble in both parties for candidates.
Democratic Lt. Gov, John Fetterman, who ran for Senate in 2016 and lost in the primary, didn’t rule out running for the seat. Asked if he would enter the race, he said in a text message “2022 is wide open.” State Treasurer Joe Torsella will seriously consider running, according to a person familiar with his thinking.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro is considered a likely contender for higher office in 2022, while a Democratic official mentioned Val Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners in the Philadelphia suburbs, as a possible Senate candidate. And several members of the congressional delegation are likely to be in the mix as well, with Reps. Conor Lamb and Chrissy Houlahan among those considered potential candidates for statewide office.
On the Republican side, former Rep. Ryan Costello will look seriously at running, according to a person familiar with his thinking. Rep. Mike Kelly is also considered a potential candidate. Jeff Bartos, a real estate developer and former candidate for lieutenant governor, said in a statement he would be having conversations with family in the coming weeks and would have more to say about a potential run after the election.
Toomey is a loyal vote for McConnell and Trump on most issues, although it’s clear that some of Trump’s behavior while in office has upset the cautious Pennsylvania Republican, who waited until Election Day in 2016 to announce that he was voting for his party’s presidential nominee.