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January 24, 2005
Dems Wooing Popular Candidate For Run Against Santorum

Democratic heavyweights have apparently settled on their first choice to run against Senator Rick Santorum in 2006, probably the most vulnerable of the GOP caucus up for re-election in the midterms. Yesterday's Tribune-Review reported that Senators Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer have encouraged Pennsylvania stats treasurer Robert Casey, Jr. to toss his hat into the ring:

Based largely on the fact that Casey received 3.35 million votes in the treasurer election in November -- the largest vote total for any candidate running for any office in state history -- Casey is being wooed to run by some heavyweight Dems.

The Philadelphia Daily News reported last week that Casey has been contacted by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee head Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York. Casey also is slated to discuss a possible Senate campaign this week with [Governor Ed] Rendell.

Santorum may find re-election a bit difficult, especially since his conservative base may hold a grudge for his support of Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in last year's primaries. Casey has shown the ability to campaign across the state and build a large coalition of voters. That makes him a top-drawer candidate for the Democrats, who need to take away a couple of seats in 2006 just to keep up with their projected losses and maintain the current gap.

Casey wants to run for governor, but I suspect that he'll not be too displeased with a detour into the Senate. If Reid and Schumer can get him $25M for a campaign fund, which I doubt they'll have much trouble doing, he'll bite. Santorum may need to start educating Pennsylvanians on Casey's record and his connections with Reid and Schumer in the next few weeks.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 24, 2005 12:15 PM

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