U.S. Senator Pat Toomey will be bowing out of politics for the time being, according to a report published Sunday by the Philadelphia Inquirer. a report published Sunday by the Inquirer.
The Republican is expected to formally announce Monday that he won’t be running for reelection or governor of Pennsylvania in 2022, as had been rumored, the article said, citing “two people familiar with his plan.”
He is expected to finish out his term, which ends in January 2023.
Politico, also based on two anonymous sources, reported that Toomey told Senate Majority Mitch McConnell of his plans.
Toomey’s communication director told Metro Sunday that the senator’s office did not have any comment on the reports.
His departure will open up an opportunity for a competitive and possibly unpredictable Senate race in Pennsylvania.
Toomey, who lives in the Lehigh Valley, rose to the Senate in 2011. He previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives for six years, stepping down in 2004 after making a campaign promise in 1998 to only serve three terms.
Recently, Toomey said he would support holding hearings on President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The move drew strong criticism from Pennsylvania Democrats, many of whom noted his decision not to consider Merrick Garland, a judge nominated by President Barack Obama following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.
Toomey, McConnell and other Republicans in Washington, D.C., have argued that the circumstances are different this time around because the GOP controls the presidency and Senate.
Toomey signaled he will be inclined to support Trump’s nominee, federal judge Amy Coney Barrett, praising Barrett’s “intellect, strong legal credentials and impeccable character.”
“Importantly, Judge Barrett has shown an unfailing commitment to the proper role of a judge – which is to apply the law, including the U.S. Constitution, as written, and not to decide cases based on a preferred policy or outcome,” he said in a statement Sept. 26.
After Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose in the upcoming election, Toomey said that “candidates need to live with the outcome of elections.”
However, he criticized the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for its recent election-related rulings, specifically a decision that will allow mail-in ballots to be accepted until Nov. 6 unless there’s clear evidence they were mailed after Election Day.
“This decision forces county election offices to count mail-in ballots that arrive after election day with illegible or absent postmarks,” Toomey said. “This is a very bad idea and the uncertainty it could create is not helpful.”