A conservative donor and real estate developer announced Monday that he will seek to unseat Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick Casey21 senators urge Pentagon against military use to curb nationwide protests Overnight Health Care: Trump says US ‘terminating’ relationship with WHO | Cuomo: NYC on track to start reopening week of June 8 | COVID-19 workplace complaints surge 10 things to know today about coronavirus MORE (D-Pa.), entering a crowded GOP primary field ahead of the 2018 race.
Jeff Bartos sent a fundraising email and a new video to supporters about his bid, touting his business experience and that he comes into the race as an outsider.
“I’m Jeff Bartos, a political outsider running for Senate to end destructive trade deals, secure our borders and restore the American dream, and I support term limits,” he said in the video.
“I have spent 20 years building businesses and giving back to my community. Bob Casey has spent the last 20 years trading political favors and working to get re-elected.”
Bartos took aim at Casey, who has served in the upper chamber since 2007, accusing him of being beholden to Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Health Care: US showing signs of retreat in battle against COVID-19 | Regeneron begins clinical trials of potential coronavirus antibody treatment | CMS warns nursing homes against seizing residents’ stimulus checks Schumer requests briefing with White House coronavirus task force as cases rise Schumer on Trump’s tweet about 75-year-old protester: He ‘should go back to hiding in the bunker’ MORE (N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) over his constituents.
“After a decade in Washington and a lifetime in politics, Bob Casey forgot where he came from,” Bartos said.
“Instead of working for Pennsylvania, he answers to Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Health Care: US showing signs of retreat in battle against COVID-19 | Regeneron begins clinical trials of potential coronavirus antibody treatment | CMS warns nursing homes against seizing residents’ stimulus checks Schumer requests briefing with White House coronavirus task force as cases rise Schumer on Trump’s tweet about 75-year-old protester: He ‘should go back to hiding in the bunker’ MORE, Elizabeth Warren and his liberal friends in Washington,” he continued. “He has left Pennsylvania behind.”
While he is a political newcomer, he did briefly consider a run for an open seat in Congress last cycle. But in early January 2016, he said he wouldn’t run to fill then-Rep. Joe Pitts’ (R-Pa.) seat.
Before he can take on Casey, Bartos faces a crowded GOP primary that already includes state Reps. Jim Christiana and Rick Saccone, among other candidates.
Pennsylvania’s Senate race will be a key election next year; Casey is one of 10 Democratic Senate incumbents who faces reelection in a state that President Trump carried in 2017.
Senate Democrats will largely be on defense in the 2018 midterm elections, protecting 25 seats, while Republicans are only defending eight seats.
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Pennsylvania Democrats took aim at Bartos following his announcement.
“The party of Trump is desperate for a Senate candidate, so they’ve turned to Jeff Bartos, a failed Congressional candidate and a salesman with a questionable record,” said Beth Melena, a spokeswoman for the state’s Democratic Party.
“With a Senate candidate who’s failed in politics and at real estate, maybe there will be another season of the Apprentice, after all.”
Updated 5:30 p.m.