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Toomey Launches Challenge to Specter

Former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) has made it official: The president of the Club for Growth announced on Monday that he will step down and run against Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) in 2010. In an e-mail to club supporters, Toomey announced he was departing the well-funded, fiscally conservative organization to run for Senate in Pennsylvania — a rematch of the contest he lost to Specter by fewer than 17,000 votes in 2004. “I personally believe that it is time for him to go,— Toomey wrote of Specter. “And that job falls on me. Very soon, I intend to announce my candidacy for the United States Senate in a Republican primary challenge against Arlen Specter.—Early public polling shows Toomey with an initial advantage over Specter, leading 41 percent to 28 percent among Pennsylvania Republican voters. Although Toomey has said publicly that he was considering running for Senate again, he had yet to make an announcement or file any official paperwork until now. Also in the e-mail, Toomey announced that former Rep. Chris Chocola (R-Ind.) would succeed him at the Club for Growth. Chocola served in Congress from 2003 to 2007, when he lost his 2nd Congressional district seat to Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.). Chocola is one of 17 members of the Club’s leadership council. Roll Call ranked the former businessman as one of the wealthiest Members in Congress with a net worth of almost $15 million in 2004. Toomey praised Chocola for his business experience, calling him a “good friend— and a “great patriot.— “I served with him in Congress and saw him cast the tough, principled votes for personal and economic freedom despite lots of pressure to cave,— Toomey wrote. “Even in the face of incredibly difficult re-election campaigns, he remained rock-solid in support of our principles.—

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