United States Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), the only Republican politician holding statewide office in Pennsylvania, announced Monday he will not run for governor of Pennsylvania or for reelection in 2022.
The announcement comes as a shock to Philadelphia's political establishment, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, as Toomey's decision puts Republicans at a disadvantage in the state's next elections.
Toomey, who has served in the Senate since 2011, will complete his Senate term through early 2023 and leave his position to spend more time with his family. “I’m looking forward to more time back at home," Toomey said in his formal announcement on Monday, the Inquirer reported.
Widely considered to be the most likely Republican candidate to run for the governor’s office in 2022, the Inquirer reported his announcement opens up the floor for new candidates and particularly, an opportunity for Democrats looking to take the governor's office and a swing Senate seat.
Although Toomey won his last two elections narrowly, he was still considered a tough competitor due to his longstanding experience and the well-off financial standings of his campaign account.
“I think if I decided to run, I would have, I would have won again,” Toomey noted in his Monday announcement.
Toomey's announcement comes as 1968 Wharton graduate and President Donald Trump trails behind former Penn Presidential Professor of Practice and Vice President Joe Biden in polls of likely Pennsylvania voters.
Toomey, who visited Penn students last year to discuss gun reform, was noted for vowing to “not be a rubber stamp" for President Trump after the presidential election back in 2016.
The senator, a self-identified moderate, had expressed neither full support for nor opposition towards Trump during his first campaign for presidency and has disagreed with the president’s remarks at times. Despite this, Toomey affirmed in his announcement that he supports the president in his reelection campaign.