Well, Chuck Schumer Probably Just Picked Up a Senate Seat...in 2022

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Posted: Oct 06, 2020 2:55 AM
Well, Chuck Schumer Probably Just Picked Up a Senate Seat...in 2022

Source: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Look, Sen. Pat Toomey's (R-PA) an okay senator. Surely, he, like the late Arlen Specter prior to his party betrayal, were Republicans who can win statewide. He was a seat-filler, but he also betrayed us on Second Amendment rights regarding his appalling bill to expand background checks. Did it save him with suburban voters? Maybe. Sen. Pat Toomey's ability to clinch Bucks County, a key collar country around Philadelphia, surely helped in his 2016 re-election effort when every squishy GOP operative worried about the GOP brand. They were wrong. Still, Toomey’s anti-gun push made me feel indifferent regarding the senator’s political ambition. He helps us keep Pennsylvania, so I was never too hard on him. But now that he’s leaving, I personally wish him well—but I’m still infuriated he even entertained that Obama White House initiative. Toomey made it official that he’s not running in 2022 for the U.S. Senate or the governorship (via The Hill):

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who is poised to become chairman of the Senate Banking Committee if Republicans keep the Senate majority, announced Monday that he will retire from Congress at the end of 2022.

Toomey, who is in his second Senate term, also said he has decided not to run for governor in 2022 and instead will return to the private sector, although he doesn’t have any “specific plans” for what he’ll do after 18 years of public service in Washington — three House terms and two Senate terms.

Toomey, 58, said his decision was driven by “personal” reasons and not “political reasons,” adding that President Trump’s recent COVID-19 diagnosis and partisan gridlock in Washington were not factors.

“I will not be running for reelection in 2022 and I will not be running for governor. I will serve out the remainder of my term for a little over two years that are left to the current term and after that my plan is to go back to the private sector,” Toomey said at a press conference in Bethlehem, Pa.

[…]

Toomey said he is looking forward to spending more time with his family in Pennsylvania and has “no specific plans” and is “not going to spend time or energy thinking about what I’ll do later” because “I have a lot of work still ahead of me.”

Well, there is no doubt that Toomey would have had a rougher re-election fight in 2022, especially if Trump loses the upcoming race, which—knock-on-wood—won't happen. If term-limited Tom Wolf decided to run for Senate, just spit balling here, things could get…tight. Despite Gov. Wolf’s COVID lockdown frenzy, which has impacted his ratings, he’s still somewhat popular. Let’s put it this way, he has quite a bit of time to rehab those figures. Overall, here's the brutal reality: the Democratic side of the aisle has an overall better candidate pool to pick from in Pennsylvania. Without Toomey, Democrats, whoever they pick in 2011, is heavily favored to win. So, Chuck Schumer can look forward a couple of years from now retaking that seat. 

The publication added that in the past quarter-century, Toomey’s been in public life for 18 of those years. He wants to return to the private sector where the hours are more flexible, the pay is undoubtedly better, and he can spend more time with his family. It’s the typical reason politicians offer to get the hell out of the swamp. Whatever the reason, the Pennsylvania Republican Party is going to have a hell of a time finding a solid replacement. I don’t mean to be a wet blanket here, but don’t hold your breath that they’ll find anyone good. The past few statewide slates have been pretty bad.