Trump Admin Vet Mulls Senate Run in Tightly-Contested Pennsylvania


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.

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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.”

Current Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania announced in October he will be leaving the seat up for grabs in 2022, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Do you think Braithwaite should run?

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.

The race is expected to be a tight one. Former President Donald Trump carried the state with just under 1 percentage point in 2016 and President Joe Biden flipped it by 1 percentage point in 2020.

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.”

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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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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith