Republican Senator Patrick Toomey said Monday he won’t seek re-election in 2022, setting up a competitive race in Pennsylvania for the next midterm election.
Toomey said he’ll serve the rest of his current term and is announcing his decision now to give the Republican Party time to field the best possible candidate. Since President Donald Trump won the Pennsylvania in 2016, Democrats have made gains in the closely divided state and have a number of candidates who’ve won statewide seats and could be contenders for the Senate.
Speaking in a news conference, the Pennsylvania Republican said he plans to return to the private sector and spend more time with his family. He said he won’t run for Pennsylvania governor.
The main factors in his retirement decision were personal not political, Toomey said, citing his views on term limits.
“I committed myself to limiting my terms in the House,” Toomey said, in reference to the six years he served in the House, followed by 10 years in the Senate.
When asked why he chose to announce his retirement now, Toomey said he was receiving inquiries on how to help with his re-election and he wanted to be honest with his would-be supporters.
“Once I reached the decision, I need to be candid with them,” he said. “I made a decision, it’s not going to change, so I should let everybody know.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported news of Toomey’s retirement Sunday.
The senator said he hopes to be chairman of the Banking Committee during his last two years, working alongside a re-elected President Trump. He also said he believes it is safe to continue with the hearings to confirm Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
“I think we should go forward on this,” Toomey said. “I think we can go forward safely.”
Toomey said he hopes to make permanent the 2017 tax provisions that are about to expire. He also hopes to “see our country pursue free-trade agreements” while finishing out his term.
Toomey was first elected to Senate in 2010 and was re-elected in 2016. He describes himself as a fiscal conservative, while also willing to work with Democrats on some issues.
He partnered with Democratic Senator Joe Manchin on bipartisan gun control legislation in 2013 asking for tighter background checks, making him one of the only Republicans willing to tackle gun control issues.
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