By MARC LEVY Related Press
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Democratic Sen. Bob Casey will search a fourth time period in workplace, bringing the facility of incumbency and unmatched title recognition in Pennsylvania politics to his social gathering’s protection of a seat in a crucial presidential battleground state.
The announcement by Casey, the longest-serving Democratic U.S. senator in Pennsylvania historical past, provides Democrats a lift forward of a troublesome 2024 Senate map. They have to defend incumbents not solely in crimson states — Montana, Ohio and West Virginia — but in addition in a number of swing states.
Casey, who will flip 63 in a number of days, is a key ally of labor unions and President Joe Biden. In Congress, Casey, a reasonable Democrat, has backed all of Biden’s prime priorities and cast an in depth relationship with the president, at the very least partially as a result of the lads even have a bond that goes past politics: They hail from the identical hometown of Scranton.
In working for reelection, Casey’s message sounds just like how Biden’s marketing campaign for a second time period could sound. Casey factors to landmark payments produced by a Democratic-controlled Congress that might develop spending on infrastructure akin to airports and broadband web, to reinvigorate a home semiconductor business, to subsidize hydrogen gasoline crops and to decrease drug prices for Medicare recipients.
Casey has forged himself as standing as much as what he calls “company particular pursuits,” and stated there’s extra to do to decrease the price of residing for working households, akin to little one care or pharmaceuticals.
“Meaning being prepared to combat and never again down from any combat for these communities and people households,” Casey stated in an interview final week.
The Senate Republicans’ marketing campaign arm, the Nationwide Republican Senatorial Committee, is already attacking Casey for voting for legal guidelines underneath Biden that they are saying have worsened inflation, and threatened Social Safety and Medicare – two packages that Casey has lengthy championed.
Casey stated Republicans “dreamed that up” and countered that the GOP has lengthy been hostile to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Safety by proposing budgets and coverage concepts that might “devastate” the packages.
Republicans would not have a deep bench to problem Casey, however they do have one potential top-tier candidate: former hedge fund CEO David McCormick, who narrowly misplaced the GOP nomination for Senate in 2022 to Dr. Mehmet Oz.
McCormick, who has sturdy assist from social gathering brass, has a solid-gold resume as a adorned Gulf Warfare veteran who graduated from West Level, obtained a doctoral diploma from Princeton, served within the highest ranges of then-President George W. Bush’s administration and ran one of many world’s largest hedge funds.
He additionally has deep pockets and connections throughout spheres of politics, enterprise and authorities from which to attract endorsements and marketing campaign contributions — none of which was sufficient to prevail towards Oz, the Donald Trump-backed candidate who went on to lose the overall election to Democrat John Fetterman.
If he runs, McCormick could have a contested main: State Sen. Doug Mastriano has stated he could run and recommended that he would win a main “arms down.” That’s prompting handwringing from social gathering leaders after Mastriano, endorsed by Trump, ran a hard-right marketing campaign within the governor’s race final yr, and was overwhelmed soundly.
Many Republicans acknowledge that will probably be troublesome to beat Casey. Some privately say he can’t be overwhelmed.
Casey is maybe Pennsylvania’s best-known politician, even when he has a comparatively low profile in Washington and not using a prime committee chairmanship in his portfolio. In Pennsylvania, he has run statewide seven instances already — profitable six of these races — and is the son of the state’s former two-term governor.
He has by no means ran an in depth race for Senate — he gained his 2018 race by 13 proportion factors — and saved an lively schedule on the marketing campaign path final yr by serving to Fetterman.
Nonetheless, Casey stated he all the time expects a tricky race, given Pennsylvania’s standing as a battleground state.
“I’ve been spending years on the street and going to all of our 67 counties and delivering for the folks of our state and communities in our state,” Casey stated. “And that’s the type of strategy I’ll take to the marketing campaign: We’re going to go in all places and attempt to earn each vote.”
The one-time “pro-life Democrat” backed a invoice final yr to write down abortion rights into federal regulation when it turned obvious that the Supreme Courtroom would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.
Casey isn’t just any Democrat within the abortion debate. His father, former Gov. Bob Casey, Sr., opposed abortion rights and signed laws within the state that spawned one other landmark abortion case, Deliberate Parenthood v. Casey. In 1992, the Supreme Courtroom in the end upheld Roe within the case however allowed states so as to add some limitations on the process.
Casey has stated he doesn’t assist a whole ban on abortion, and believes that lawmakers ought to work to scale back the variety of abortions and unintended pregnancies of their states, and to do extra to assist girls and households.
In January, as he equipped for the marketing campaign, Casey introduced that he would bear surgical procedure for prostate most cancers. Greater than seven weeks after surgical procedure, Casey stated he feels absolutely recovered. His workplace has stated the process went effectively and that he would require no additional remedy. He has since returned to work.