Elected officials, at least the ones who overwhelmingly come from one of the nation’s two major political parties, always have political responsibilities beyond their job duties.
One is endorsing other candidates in their party.
When they’ve had to do it, the state’s two U.S. senators — one a Republican, one a Democrat — have carried out their endorsement of Senate candidates with restraint.
Neither Sen. Bob Casey, the Democrat, nor Sen. Pat Toomey, the Republican, said anything about the present and future opponents of the people they endorsed.
In 2016, Democrat Katie McGinty faced a contested primary election against former congressman Joe Sestak.
On March 18, Casey endorsed her.
“Katie McGinty will fight tirelessly for Pennsylvania families, and I’m proud to endorse her in the race for U.S. Senate,” Casey said in a statement released by the McGinty campaign. “Katie has a record of creating positive change from her time in the Clinton Administration through her service in state government as the head of the Department of Environmental Protection and Governor Wolf’s Chief of Staff. Katie will lead the fight to raise incomes for middle class families, ensure women get equal pay for equal work, raise the minimum wage and make it possible for more families to afford child care. Katie will join me in advocating for Pre-K so our kids will learn more now and earn more later in our workforce. For older Pennsylvanians and their families, Katie will help to ensure the federal government keeps the promise of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”
I’m unsure whether Casey’s endorsement mattered much, but McGinty beat Sestak.
She lost narrowly to Toomey that November.
Fast forward to now and Toomey’s endorsement Tuesday of U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, who faces several challengers for the Republican Senate nomination.
“No one in the House of Representatives has been more committed to fighting to protect our borders, or to ending dangerous sanctuary city policies, than Lou Barletta,” Toomey said in the statement released by Barletta’s campaign. “Lou has also been tireless in his efforts to repeal Obamacare, defend the sanctity of life, and to eliminate misguided liberal policies that have hurt American jobs. And, when we recently needed an ally in the House to pass the most sweeping tax reforms in a generation, Lou was there every step of the way.”
No mention of the four others running against Barletta for the nomination.
You can understand why Toomey and Casey wouldn’t bad-mouth others in their party. It makes no sense to alienate people you might to ask to vote for you someday.
Nonetheless, Toomey and Casey didn’t rip each other either.
I’ve written about this before. Casey and Toomey actually like each other. They know their job comes with a political element, but that doesn’t mean they have to antagonize each other unnecessarily. They keep in mind they have to work together.
That didn’t stop Barletta’s campaign from ripping Casey in the rest of the news release announcing Toomey’s endorsement.
The news release also said the Barletta-Casey matchup will be one of the top Senate races in the country.
Sounds like he’s pretty sure of winning the Republican primary.
By the way, McGinty’s campaign didn’t rip Toomey in the news release where Casey endorsed her.