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United States Senator Bob Casey speaks at a campaign rally in Philadelphia on Jan. 26. 

Credit: Ethan Young

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) joined Philadelphia Mayor and 2016 Fels Institute of Government graduate Cherelle Parker for a campaign event on Friday, highlighting his support for labor and combating corporate "greedflation." 

Casey, who has held his seat in the Senate since 2007, is the longest-serving Democratic senator in Pennsylvania history and is seeking re-election for a fourth term in office in November. The event on Jan. 26 focused on the concerns of laborers in Philadelphia, including through the joint event with Parker — who has received widespread support from the city's unions.  

At the event, which was on the third floor of the Laborers’ District Council Training Institute in front of a group of roughly 50 labor leaders and union workers holding signs reading “Labor for Bob Casey,” Casey outlined the importance of the race ahead and what he has done in his political career thus far to merit keeping his position. 

“Some of us have a track record of reducing costs,” Casey said. “I do. I'm the senator who voted to make sure that we could cap the cost of insulin at 35 bucks a month for seniors.”

Even though Friday's event was officially an event for Casey and his campaign, Parker was given time to briefly discuss her own plans for office. Parker was inaugurated as the 100th mayor of Philadelphia at the beginning of the year, becoming the first woman to hold the position in the city’s history.

Before Casey’s appearance on stage, Parker spoke on the importance of a strong relationship between the local and federal government and said that she needs a partnership with leaders such as Casey to fulfill her goals as mayor. Parker also emphasized the need for real results in the community, as opposed to just “slogans.”

“If you press that button [to vote] for us and it doesn’t translate into tangible, visible measures, where you can see your tax dollars at work in your neighborhood, we haven’t leveraged the roles that you’ve given us the privilege to serve in to the best of our ability,” Parker said.

Butch Bennet, a representative of the Philadelphia Building Trades, introduced Parker and Casey as leaders who care about the rights of workers and are working to have his interests — and the interests of others in the room — represented. 

“This is the first time in history that we really had a mayor that understood what organized labor not only goes through, but has to deal with,” Bennet said.

Casey's campaign against likely Republican candidate Dave McCormick is crucial for the Democratic Party to maintain its narrow majority in the Senate. Although Casey has fared well in his previous three elections, he has never faced a candidate with McCormick's funding, as he is estimated to be worth at least $116 million

McCormick is the former Chief Executive Officer of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, and served as the undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs under former President George W. Bush’s administration, which has given him broad political support from the Republican Party. McCormick narrowly lost to Mehmet Oz — who went on to lose in a widely publicized election against Rep. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) — in the Republican Senate primary in 2022. 

Casey attacked McCormick throughout his speech, particularly about McCormick's goal to repeal the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Casey said has helped rebuild roads and bridges across Philadelphia, and McCormick’s support for large corporations. 

While the Nov. 5 election remains months away, Casey’s appearance on Friday represents an early attempt to garner voter support to aid his re-election campaign. 

One important voter group is college students and young voters — nearly one in three voters between the ages of 18 and 29 voted in the 2022 Pennsylvania Senate election, one of the highest young voter turnout percentages of any state.

Casey told The Daily Pennsylvanian that he plans on visiting college campuses in the state as the election nears. 

“I think that youth voters aren’t much different than other voters,” Casey said to the DP. “They are going to be focused on the choice, and I think the choice is pretty clear: it’s a choice between extremism and delivering for the people, whether it’s in my race or in the presidential race.”