Former Navy secretary Kenneth Braithwaite is considering running for Senate in Pennsylvania in 2022, the former Trump administration official said Friday.
“I have been approached by many in D.C. and here in Pennsylvania who have encouraged me to consider pursuing my old boss Senator Arlen Specter’s U.S. Senate Seat,” Braithwaite told Politico.
“As you can appreciate, I am considering many options and opportunities as I transition back to the private sector.”
Braithwaite is a retired Navy rear admiral who served on active duty and as a reservist, and acted as Trump’s Navy secretary in the final months of the administration.
He also served as ambassador to Norway from 2018 to 2020.
Prior to his time as an ambassador, Braithwaite worked as a top adviser to former Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, a moderate Republican who later turned Democrat.
“Aside from his distinguished military career, professionally Secretary Braithwaite is a consensus builder,” Greg Manz, the former Pennsylvania Republican Party spokesman, said.
“He’d be a formidable Senate candidate in 2022.”
Both parties will be vying for the seat as the Senate is currently split 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote, according to Politico.
Political insiders consider Braithwaite to be a different kind of candidate than a Trump loyalist because of his diverse resume.
“Ken is well-liked and able. He survived his association with Donald Trump with an enhanced reputation,” Specter’s son Shanin said.
“I hope he’ll stay in public service in some form.”
An anonymous source said to have direct knowledge of Braithwaite’s considerations described him to Politico as “a little bit Trump-y, a little bit Arlen Specter.”
“He’s conservative enough to win a primary, but moderate enough to win a general election,” the unnamed source said.
According to The Inquirer, Braithwaite joins Reps. Dan Meuser, Guy Reschenthaler, Lloyd Smucker and Glenn Thompson, as well as former gubernatorial candidate Paul Mago and State Sen. Camera Bartolotta, in considering a 2022 Senate run.
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