April 13th, 2009
12:36 PM ET
6 years ago

Specter gets primary challenge

Sen. Arlen Specter is facing another challenge from Pat Toomey.
Sen. Arlen Specter is facing another challenge from Pat Toomey.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Rep. Pat Toomey announced Monday he is taking steps to challenge incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter in 2010, setting up a primary rematch between the two Republicans with ideological differences.

“Very soon, I intend to announce my candidacy for the United States Senate in a Republican primary challenge against Arlen Specter,” Toomey said in an e-mail Monday to members of the Club for Growth, telling them of his decision to resign as president of the organization.

Toomey, who unsuccessfully ran against Specter in 2004, criticized his fellow Republican for supporting the “liberal agenda” because he did not help the GOP minority uphold the filibuster on every issue. “I personally believe that it is time for him to go,” Toomey wrote in the e-mail.

Expecting a challenge, Specter ran a 30-second campaign TV ad earlier this month that criticized Toomey for his experience as a Wall Street trader, and his views on financial and economic policy matters.

On Monday, he took the same message to Twitter. “Toomey’s 2 resumes. What’s he hiding?” he wrote. He linked to an open letter that suggested Toomey was looking to hide his background in the financial industry.

A Quinnipiac University survey of registered Pennsylvania voters released late last month suggests Specter trails conservative Toomey in a hypothetical Republican primary matchup by a 41 to 27 percent margin, with 28 percent unsure. But a Franklin and Marshall College poll released the same day indicates that Specter leads Toomey 33 percent to 18 percent, with 7 percent for other candidates and 42 percent unsure. While the Franklin and Marshall survey suggests that Specter leads in the matchup, 51 percent of Republicans questioned in that poll say they’d rather see a fresh face in the Senate.

Toomey did not indicate in his letter when he would make his Senate bid official. He will be replaced at the Club for Growth by former GOP Rep. Chris Chocola.


Filed under: Arlen Specter • Pat Toomey
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    If I had to pick the lesser of two evils, I will pick Sen. Specter. He's one of the few republican senators that voted in favor of the stimulus bill. Now if he did that for political posturing is beyond me.

    April 13, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. JonDie

    What a great country. The "conservative" GOP challenger Toomey is running on the premise that 41 senators (aka the minority) should be able to run the country into the ground by blocking anything the other 59 senators want to do.

    April 13, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. Rafael VA

    See ya Specter!!!

    April 13, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. gary

    I like Specter and have voted for him before. But his voting for that so-called stimulus bill was a big mistake. We can't keep running up the national debt everytime we go into a recession. That is what Bush did after the 2001 recession and he was wrong. That is what Nancy Pelosi and Obama is doing now and they are wrong. We need to send a signal to our elected officials that it is unacceptable to mortgage our childrens future because of their inability to fiscally responsible. We need to vote out everyone who voted for this wasteful "pork" spending bill.

    April 13, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. Fitz in Texas

    Good luck Mr. Toomey.....Specter needs to go.

    April 13, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Alfred E. Neumann

    Good luck luck Mr Toomey because Arlen Specter is very popular and for good reason – he is a hard worker and a moderate.

    Arlen is a popular politician.

    Go get em Arlen.

    No Democrat is going to replace Arlen Specter.

    April 13, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. Ken from missouri

    Senator Spector cares about his district and he stood up to his own
    party to help his people so if the people in his district want someone
    who look's out for them first and party second they should vote for him
    because toomey will do exactly what his party wants,

    April 13, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. USMC - Mike

    I hope to god Toomey wins ... It will be a slam dunk for the Dems to win that seat in 2010 ...

    April 13, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |