Politics Former GOP Rep. Keith Rothfus considering jumping into Pennsylvania Senate race
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The Senate GOP primary in Pennsylvania might get even more crowded.
Former Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Pa., told NBC News on Tuesday that he's considering launching a Senate bid, a move that would further expand the Republican field for a seat that's crucial to both parties in their fight to win control of the chamber in next year's midterm elections.
Rothfus, who represented a district in the western part of the state from 2013 through 2019, said he has "made a bunch of phone calls" on potentially entering the race and is "getting positive feedback."
Rothfus said he is "exploring if there is a path into this race, particularly for someone who has represented Western Pennsylvania in the past" and "been on the ground in the past decade." He mentioned bolstering the energy industry in Pennsylvania, curtailing government spending and advocating for a more aggressive foreign policy with China as some of the issues that would be core to his candidacy if he jumps into the primary.
Trump-endorsed Pennsylvania Senate candidate suspends campaign after losing custody battle
Sean Parnell, the Republican endorsed by former President Donald Trump in the 2022 Pennsylvania Senate race, is suspending his campaign after losing a custody battle. Politico reported Monday afternoon that Parnell had informed Trump of his decision. Earlier in the day, a Butler County judge ruled in favor of Parnell’s estranged wife in what had been an ugly custody case between the two. The judge, James Asner, said he had concluded that Parnell’s wife was the “more credible witness” of the pair and that Parnell, the early favorite for the GOP nomination, had committed “some acts of abuse in the past.
"The question is: What is the path to this?" he said. "I’m taking a close look at it and I’ve been on the phone a lot."
Rothfus touted the need for primary candidates who've spent years living in Pennsylvania to participate in the growing field. Dr. Mehmet Oz, who, is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania but lived in New Jersey and registered to vote in Pennsylvania last year at the home of his in-laws, . Carla Sands, former President Donald Trump's ambassador to Denmark and a fellow GOP candidate in the race, much of her adult life living in California.
The Keystone State Senate race was shaken up last week when, Sean Parnell, after his estranged wife was granted sole legal custody of their children in a case where she alleged abuse. Parnell, who at the time was backed by Rothfus, has denied the accusations.
Trump-backed candidate's Pennsylvania Senate race exit shakes up GOP primary, opens door to new contenders
The Republican primary battle for an open GOP held Senate seat in battleground Pennsylvania just got even more turbulent, as the Trump backed candidate dropped outThe day after Sean Parnell, the perceived front-runner in the race who enjoyed the backing of former President Donald Trump, suspended his campaign hours after he lost a bitter fight for custody of his three children to his estranged wife, a GOP strategist with ties to the Pennsylvania contest emphasized that the news "definitely shakes up the race. It gives a huge opening for someone to rise.
Pennsylvania is the only state President Joe Biden won last fall where a Republican-held seat is now open. GOP Sen. Pat Toomey is not seeking another term. Victory here by either party might determine who controls the Senate, where Democrats currently have the edge with Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote.
Aside from Oz and Sands, other Republicans, including Jeff Bartos, the party’s 2018 nominee for lieutenant governor, and Kathy Barnette, who sought a congressional seat last fall, are seeking the party's nomination.triggered speculation about new candidates, including Oz, Rothfus and David McCormick, the husband of Trump administration official Dina Powell and the CEO of Bridgewater Associates, a hedge fund based in Westport, Conn.
The Democratic side features a deep field, too, with Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, Dr. Val Arkoosh, a physician and the Montgomery County commissioner and U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, who bested Rothfus in a 2018 race.
Dr. Oz announces Senate bid to his millions of followers .
The celebrity television doctor will run in one of the nation’s most important races.The celebrity TV doctor made the announcement Tuesday, rolling out a video he shared with his millions of followers on social media.