Pennsylvania: Toomey Eyes 2010 Gubernatorial Contest

Posted January 26, 2009 at 6:19pm

Former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) is passing on another primary run against Sen. Arlen Specter (R), according to a statement from his office. Toomey came within 2 points of defeating Specter in the 2004 GOP primary.

Instead, Toomey is exploring a gubernatorial bid in 2010, when current Gov. Ed Rendell (D) is term-limited out of office.

“I have had several preliminary conversations with supporters of mine regarding a possible run for governor in 2010,” Toomey said in a statement. “Given the state of Pennsylvania’s economy and the disastrous state budget deficits we face, there certainly is a need for major changes in Harrisburg. It is still very early in my exploration of a possible run but it is something I will consider.”

In an interview with Roll Call earlier this month, Toomey said he was not ruling out a bid for either governor or Senate in 2010. Keystone state operatives close to Toomey, however, said at the time that he was leaning toward running for governor over Senate.

Democrats are likely to mount a competitive challenge against Specter regardless in 2010. Democratic Reps. Allyson Schwartz and Patrick Murphy are looking at running against him, as is state General Assembly Deputy Speaker Josh Shapiro (D).

Specter’s aides have indicated that he is preparing to run for a sixth term in 2010.