Sen. Pat Toomey announced on Monday that he will not seek reelection in the Senate and will not run for governor in 2022, confirming the news first reported from the Philadelphia Inquirer one day before.
“My family and I have reached a decision and I wanted to share that with the people of Pennsylvania,” Toomey said joined by his family at a press conference in Bethlehem. “And that is that I will not be running for reelection in 2022 and I will not be running for Governor.”
The second term GOP Senator said that he will serve out the remainder of his term and will go back to the private sector after his term is finished.
Toomey said that his decision to rule out another statewide bid in 2022 was not a “political” one, but rather a personal one, adding that at the end of his term he will have spent 18 years in elected office.
Toomey was first elected to represent the 15th Congressional District in 1998. He served in the House until 2005 and didn’t seek reelection in 2004 after promising to only serve three terms.
Toomey bested Joe Sestak for Senate in 2010 and secured a second term in the Senate in 2016 after defeating Katie McGinty.
“Representing the people of Pennsylvania,” Toomey said. “This big, beautiful, complicated, diverse state has been an extraordinary, amazing honor, it still is and it’s been, by far the highlight of my professional life.”
He also added that if he decided to seek another term, he believes he would’ve won.
Although Toomey has ruled out a statewide run in 2022, he said there’s still a lot he’d like to accomplish in the next two years. He said he hopes to Chair the Senate Banking Committee, is “cautiously optimistic” that the GOP holds on to the majority, and supports President Donald Trump’s campaign for a second term.
Toomey said that he’s proud to have played a “significant role” in tax reform, regulatory relief, and trade policy, and would like to make some provisions in the tax bill permanent and expand free trade opportunities with the United Kingdom, European Union, and in Asia.
Toomey’s “surprise announcement” opens the door to what is expected to be a crowded primary on both sides of the aisle. The Philadelphia Inquirer describes Toomey’s decision to not run for office in 2022 as making the election for the statewide office as a “total free-for-all.”
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party took some jabs over Toomey’s announcement in a press release on Sunday, criticizing the GOP Senator’s position on the Affordable Care Act and tax reform and claiming his decision to retire is due to “poor” poll numbers.
“Pat Toomey is bowing out of a re-election campaign because his poll numbers show that Pennsylvanians would never send him back to Washington,” said Brendan Welch, communications director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. “By not seeking re-election, Pat Toomey has finally done something that benefits his constituents.”
Toomey’s full press conference can be found here.