Right now there are nine Republicans actively running for the nomination against Democratic senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, but most of them are little-known and have never been elected to office before. Perhaps the best known is Tim Burns, who came close to knocking off Rep. Mark Critz in a rematch in November 2010; Burns lost a special-election bid earlier in the year to fill the remainder of John Murtha’s term.
Burns, a successful businessman, is expected to self-finance, and coal-industry entrepreneur Tom Smith has loaned his campaign $750,000.
But a veteran of state politics is considering throwing his hat in the ring:
Pa. Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi is considering a big against U.S. Senator Bob Casey, the Delaware County Republican told PoliticsPA Monday night.
“I have been approached by a number of people about the possibility of running for U.S. Senate,” Pileggi said in a statement relayed by a spokesperson.
“I’m flattered by the question, and I have deep concerns about the direction our nation is taking in many areas, including historically high levels of unemployment, the spiraling national debt, and the federal government’s attempt to take over health care. I have made no decision but will continue to listen on how I can best serve the Commonwealth and the Country.”
Multiple D.C. sources say Pileggi has already met with national Republicans to discuss a bid, along with party leaders in Harrisburg and southeast Pennsylvania.
Pileggi won a special election to the state senate in 2002 and was reelected in November of 2004 and 2008. Before becoming a senator, Pileggi was the mayor of the city of Chester from 1998 to 2002 and a city councilman before that. As a state legislator, he is ranked fairly high by the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, about in the middle by environmental groups, and surprisingly high by the AFL-CIO (at least in 2001–02).