Rep. Brendan Boyle decides against Pennsylvania Senate bid

Greg Nash

Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) announced on Friday that he will forgo a bid for an open and highly contested Pennsylvania Senate seat.

The Philadelphia-area congressman had been mulling a potential bid for months to fill the open seat being vacated by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). However, he declined to take the plunge, pointing to family considerations as the main reason for his decision.

“I appreciate those supporters who reached out to me over the last few months to ask me to run. But as I told them, this is just not the right time for a statewide campaign for my family,” Boyle told The Hill in an exclusive statement.

According to a senior Democrat, a few prominent party figures, including labor leaders, called Boyle over the last month to urge him to run. Boyle told them he would consider it but was leaning heavily against it. He is expected to run for a fifth term in the House next year.

A bid by the 44-year-old Boyle would have likely been an uphill climb given the high-profile candidates who are already in the race or are expected to launch campaigns. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), a progressive who also ran for the seat in 2016, headlines the field, having posted a $3.9 million first quarter fundraising total. Reps. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) have also expressed interest in running for the seat. State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D) has also launched a campaign.

The seat is considered a top pick-up opportunity for Democrats. Overall, five Senate Republicans have declined to run for reelection next year.

Jeff Bartos, a real estate developer and candidate for lieutenant governor in 2018, is the highest-profile GOP candidate in the race to replace the two-term incumbent, although many others are likely to follow in the coming months. Among the potential candidates are former Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite, Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) and former Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Pa.).

Boyle won his House seat in 2014 in upset fashion, having defeated former Rep. Marjorie Margolis (D-Pa.), the mother-in-law of Chelsea Clinton, in the old 13th Congressional District by 14 points. Two years ago, Boyle’s region was redistricted, having been split between Montgomery County and Philadelphia, to being one of just two seats that represent the city.

The Pennsylvania Democrat was also among the first to endorse President Biden after he announced his presidential campaign, having also spoken at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Tags 2022 Brendan Boyle Dan Meuser Joe Biden Pat Toomey Pennsylvania Ryan Costello Senate

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