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Hatch, Once Skeptical of Toomey, Will Host Fundraiser for Him

A top Republican Senator who once dismissed former Rep. Pat Toomey’s (R) chances of winning the Pennsylvania Senate race will host a fundraiser for him in late November.

After Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) announced last April that he was switching parties to run for re-election as a Democrat, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) publicly questioned Toomey’s chances of winning the Senate seat.

“I don’t think there is anybody in the world who believes he can get elected Senator there,— Hatch told a news organization on April 29.

Now Hatch is scheduled to headline a high-dollar fundraising lunch on Nov. 17 “in support of— Toomey, according to a copy of the event invitation obtained by Roll Call.

—Our campaign has worked hard and succeeded in persuading a great many people of Pat Toomey’s prospects in this race, and now every public poll proves it,— said Toomey campaign spokeswoman Nachama Soloveichik. “Pat is very pleased to have Sen. Hatch’s support and looks forward to working with him throughout the campaign and serving with him in the Senate.—

Specter said he was changing parties because he could not defeat Toomey in the GOP primary.

Although Specter initially received a boost in the polls after his switch, polls now show him in a dead heat with Toomey in the general election. What’s more, Specter is now being challenged by Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) in the Democratic primary, which has already turned nasty and is likely to become even more so.

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