By John McDonald, PoliticsPA Contributor
Biotech entrepreneur Steve Welch is “considering a run [for U.S. Senate in 2012] more seriously than when GOPers first tried to recruit him earlier this year,” according to a report posted on Politico late Thursday night.
Welch, who was recruited in 2010 to run for Congress in the Sixth District as incumbent Rep. Jim Gerlach mulled a gubernatorial campaign, met this week with officials from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Politico’s Dan Hirschhorn reported.
A wealthy businessman and Penn State alum, Welch would enter the race with significant personal financial resources at his disposal. As he considered mounting campaigns in both the Sixth and Seventh Districts last year, Welch reportedly donated at least $650,000 of his own money to the effort.
A high-level GOP strategist told PoliticsPA that recent third-party polling indicates that Welch’s profile – “non-politician, fiscal conservative, experience creating jobs” – would make him “perfect” to challenge U.S. Senator Bob Casey.
“Welch is being courted in Harrisburg and in Washington,” the strategist said. “He is taking a very serious look at this and feels compelled to do so based on Washington politicians’ lack of courage in dealing with financial crisis facing this country.”
Thus far, top-tier potential challengers – including Gerlach, Congressmen Pat Meehan and Charlie Dent, and state Senator Jake Corman – have declined to enter the race.
Attorney Marc Scaringi, a former staffer to Rick Santorum and Attorney General Mike Fisher, announced last November he would seek the GOP nomination. Decorated Vietnam War veteran and advocate David Christian launched an exploratory committee last month. Pittsburgh-based businessman Keith Loiselle is reportedly mulling the race as well.