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NRSC Backs Toomey in Pennsylvania

The National Republican Senatorial Committee made it official Tuesday: The committee is endorsing former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) in the Pennsylvania Senate race. “Congressman Toomey will help restore the checks and balances in Washington that Pennsylvanians deserve, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee will fully support his bid to become the next U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania,— NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) said in a statement.The move does not come as a complete surprise, given that Cornyn’s political action committee cut a $5,000 check to Toomey last month. What’s more, several members of the Pennsylvania delegation recently announced they were supporting Toomey, another signal that the party was moving to unify behind his candidacy. The NRSC supported Sen. Arlen Specter for re-election until he announced in late April that he was switching parties to run as a Democrat in 2010. At the time, Specter said he made the switch because he could not win a closed Republican primary against Toomey. When Specter first announced he was becoming a Democrat, some Senate Republicans openly expressed their doubts about Toomey’s ability to win the general election. Party leaders began looking to try to recruit another candidate, including holding discussions with former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge and Rep. Jim Gerlach. Ridge declined to run, and Gerlach announced Tuesday that he is running for governor in 2010.

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