Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania announced Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2022.
Toomey had been talked about as a candidate for governor in two years, but he also ruled that out during his news conference in Bethlehem.
“I will not be running for re-election in 2022 and I will not be running for governor,” he said. “I will serve out the remainder of my term, the little over two years that are left in the current term.
“And after that, my plan is to go back to the private sector.”
“The reasons that I have reached this decision are not political, they’re personal,” Toomey said, pointing out that his family remained in Pennsylvania.
“I’ve spent little time as I can in Washington, coming back home as quickly as I can after the end of official business, but it still ends up being a lot of time, a lot of time away from home. And I’m looking forward to more time back at home,” he said.
The senator also cited his views on term limits for lawmakers, saying, “The decision is consistent with the long-held view I’ve had in support of term limits.”
Toomey, 58, noted that he has spent 18 of the past 24 years in politics. He was elected to the Senate in 2010 and had previously represented Pennsylvania in the House.
“Eighteen years is a long time,” he said.
Toomey said he is unsure about the specifics of his plans after he leaves office and he will make that decision as his time nears to leave the Senate.
In his remarks, the senator mentioned Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, noting they have developed “a great working relationship.”
He said that by working together, the two Pennsylvania senators have “outpaced every other divided delegation and almost every other divided delegation in the Senate in the category of filling vacancies on the federal bench, and we’ve done so with just some wonderful, talented people across Pennsylvania.”
Toomey said he will not coast in the coming two years.
“My intention is to work as hard as I possibly can. I will have the luxury in a way of not having a campaign to manage at the same time,” he said.
The senator said he was “hopeful and cautiously optimistic” the Republicans would hang on to their Senate majority in November’s elections.
Toomey said that he announced his departure when he did because he was getting offers to help with his campaign and wanted to be upfront with supporters.
“I’ve made a decision, it’s not going to change, and so I want everybody to know,” he said.
When asked whether having to take reporters’ questions about things President Donald Trump has “done or tweeted or said” played a role in his decision, the senator made it clear that wasn’t a factor.
“I decided early on that I am not responsible for the president’s Twitter feeds,” Toomey said. “I am not responsible for editing his comments in any given medium.
“I work with this president on a regular basis. It’s a very constructive relationship. And when I’ve disagreed with him, which I have, I haven’t been bashful about saying so. But that has nothing to do with this decision.”
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