PA-Sen: Former Rep. Chris Carney Considers 2016 Senate Bid
Democratic 2010 Senate nominee, Joe Sestak, has been preparing for another challenge against Sen. Pat Toomey since 2013. But he may have to defeat former Rep. Chris Carney in a party primary before he’ll have a shot.
Carney is “weighing” a Senate campaign and will decide “fairly soon” whether he wants to pursue one.
“I have been encouraged by many folks who have approached me about running, and I’ve had many conversations with people from across the commonwealth,” Carney told National Journal, adding that he would think about “what’s best for my family and the people of Pennsylvania.”
Though Democratic operatives have been searching for an alternative to Sestak, Carney was not high on their list. The former Congressman was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a caucus identifying as moderate and conservative that holds views unpopular with the liberal Democratic electorate, including opposing abortion rights.
Sestak, however, has a strained relationship with some party leaders, which could give Carney the chance to earn key endorsements over Sestak.
But a Democratic primary battle has the potential to weaken whichever candidate comes out on top. The party will be keen to wage a strong campaign against Toomey, a strong fiscal conservative representing the blue Keystone State, whose re-election has already been dubbed a “toss-up” and a “race to watch.”
Carney’s interest in the Senate seat is a surprise to many Democratic operatives who thought Sestak might run unopposed. Most other potential candidates — outgoing state Treasurer Rob McCord, former Rep. Allyson Schwartz, Attorney General Kathleen Kane and Rep. Matt Cartwright — declined to run.
Another potential candidate, Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro, is rumored to have lost interest in a campaign.