A conservative donor and real estate developer announced Monday that he will seek to unseat Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyDemocrats surprised, caught off guard by 'framework' deal Bipartisan senators to hold hearing on 'toxic conservatorships' amid Britney Spears controversy Overnight Health Care — Presented by Indivior —Pfizer: COVID-19 vaccine safe for young kids 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 SchumerDemocrats' do-or-die moment Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Progressives push for fossil subsidy repeal in spending bill MORE (N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Warren11 senators urge House to pass .5T package before infrastructure bill Senate Democrats seeking information from SPACs, questioning 'misaligned incentives' UN secretary-general blasts space tourism 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 SchumerDemocrats' do-or-die moment Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Progressives push for fossil subsidy repeal in spending bill 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.
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.