Since Arlen Specter returned to the party of his origin,the Democrat Party, party members have tossed around the idea that Tom Ridge would run for the U.S. Senate. It prompted Ted Meehan to comment:
"The recruitment of Tom Ridge into the upcoming Senate primary will serve little purpose other than to promote a vitriolic internal battle in the GOP.
The departure of Arlen Specter was prompted by his certainty that he could not win a Republican primary, and that the Republican Party is a collection of extremist lunatics.
My expectation is that he will find more extremist lunatics in the party he just joined, and he will not even survive the primary in that party."
"In 1991, after John Heinz’s death, Governor Casey appointed Harris Wofford to fill that Senate seat. A special election was held, and the GOP “leadership” discouraged all comers to clear the field for a “sure thing” – Dick Thornburgh, who – they told us – would easily win the seat back. The popular former Governor lost in a landslide. Wofford, it was thought, was invincible after that election."
"But in the wake of that campaign, Rick Santorum sought the Republican nomination for a chance at Wofford. Santorum had won his seat in a predominantly Democrat area,even after his district was gerrymandered. As he gained strength, the party elders became concerned. One leader said, “He is way too conservative to get elected in Pennsylvania.” So the party reached out to Barbara Hafer, and Teresa Heinz. But, Santorum took the endorsement at State Committee. Santorum beat the 'invincible' Wofford. He also won in 2000 bucking George Bush’s loss of the state to Al Gore.'
"With the defection of Arlen Specter, Pat Toomey, "A former Congressman who had handily won three terms in a predominantly Democrat district has become the front runner." The party leadership ....is "seeking a popular former Governor to be the “sure thing”, because “Toomey is (supposedly) way too conservative to be elected in Pennsylvania.” Sound familiar? Toomey evokes passion, and is building a movement which will take back the seat. The voters and Grassroots are the proper arbiters of which candidates will represent them best. The “leaders” in Washington and Harrisburg would do well to listen to the base, and stop trying to reinvent the GOP in the image of the Democrats."
"Only a little over two years ago, the Democrats decided they couldn’t win in Pennsylvania unless they ran a pro-life, blue collar Catholic from Scranton. Now, suddenly, the GOP is deciding that it cannot win in Pennsylvania unless it runs a pro-choice moderate. Had the Democrats taken this course, Santorum would still be our Republican Senator. So, please stop this obscene effort to undermine Pat Toomey. He is going to be the GOP candidate – whether or not Ridge gets into the race. If you’re not willing to help, then get out of the way." Ted Meehan