Toomey Makes It Official, Announces Campaign

The Republican incumbent remains unopposed in his own party, sights set on general election.

Pat Toomey, Joe Manchin

Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey announced his re-election campaign to roughly 150 supporters in a King of Prussia hotel ballroom Sunday afternoon.

The 53-year-old from Lehigh County is currently unopposed in the Republican party, and is looking to appeal to broader array of voters 14 months ahead of the general.

Talking about a “polarized political environment” in Washington, D.C., Toomey emphasized his bipartisan accomplishments, including a 2012 package of legislation that reduced regulations on small- and medium-sized businesses.

According to a blog post by NewsWorks’ Dave Davies, two of the six speakers at the kick-off rally were union leaders, and two were were African-American. He also referred to his work with Democratic Virginia U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin on gun control and working with counterpart Sen. Bob Casey, “whenever we can.”

With $8.3 million in campaign coffers at the end of June, Toomey has a distinct edge financial edge on his opponents.

On the other side of the aisle, retired Navy admiral and former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak is angling for a rematch of the 2010 campaign agains Toomey. Sestak, who already has been campaigning for several months, came out swinging following Toomey’s announcement with a statement knocking his record on veterans issues.

In June, a Quinnipiac University poll showed Toomey leading Sestak among Republicans, 47 percent to 36 percent.

Kathleen McGinty, former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and chief of staff to Gov. Tom Wolf, is also vying for the Democratic nomination in the April 26 primary. Her campaign released a statement following Toomey’s announcement saying that he “has repeatedly shown that he is out of touch with Pennsylvanians.”

A third Democratic candidate John Fetterman, the mayor of Braddock, Pa., plans to announce later today.

[NewsWorks, The Morning Call]