Pitts Is Second Congressman to Endorse Toomey

Posted June 25, 2009 at 2:13pm

Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) on Thursday became the second Republican in the Keystone State’s delegation to back former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) in the 2010 Senate race. He joins Rep. Charlie Dent, who had previously endorsed Toomey. It appears increasingly likely that Toomey will be the GOP’s standard-bearer next year in the race for the seat currently held by party-switching Sen. Arlen Specter (D). Specter defected from the GOP earlier this year because his prospects for beating Toomey in the primary were dim. “I am honored to have Congressman Pitts’ support and I look forward to him playing an important role in my campaign,— Toomey said in a statement. After Specter’s switch, national Republican operatives were openly looking to recruit another candidate besides Toomey, who many viewed as too conservative to win the general election in a Democratic-leaning state. In a statement announcing his endorsement, Pitts played up Toomey’s fiscal conservative credentials and his appeal to moderates. “Pat Toomey is a bona fide fiscal conservative at a time when Washington desperately needs more of them,— Pitts said. “Pat has strong convictions, but they are convictions with bipartisan appeal. Pat proved during his three terms in Congress that he has the ability to inspire Democrats and Republicans alike.— Pitts was one of two Republicans in the state’s delegation who remained neutral instead of backing Specter in his 2004 primary against Toomey, who was then a Congressman. Pitts told Roll Call earlier this year that he didn’t plan on changing that position in another Specter-vs.-Toomey primary fight. “I’ve got two friends fighting,— Pitts said in mid-April before Specter’s switch. “I’m not going to get between them.—