Oct. 5 (UPI) — Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania will not run for re-election in 2022, the senator announced Monday.
“The reasons I’ve reached this decision are not political, they’re personal,” Toomey, 58, said, surrounded by family members in a speech in Bethlehem, Pa. He said his 18 years in the U.S. Congress added up to “a lot of time away from home.”
The GOP senator declined to say what he planned to do after retiring from public office, adding he had “a lot of work to do” in the next two years before his term ends.
Toomey serves on the Senate’s banking, budget and finance committees. He first ran successfully for U.S. representative in 1998 and served three terms. He was elected twice to the Senate in 2010 and 2016, the later a close election in which he declined to endorse then-candidate Donald Trump.
Toomey said Monday he has a “very constructive working relationship” with Trump, but he decided early on that he was “not responsible for the president’s Twitter feeds.” He said the president’s recent behavior and COVID-19 diagnosis had “no influence” on his decision.
Pennsylvania is considered a battleground state in the Nov. 3 presidential elections, which Trump won in 2016 by 44,292 votes, less than 1% of more than 6 million cast.
Trump attacked Pennsylvania during Tuesday’s presidential debate with former Vice President Joe Biden, alleging voter fraud and announcing, “Nothing good happens in Philadelphia.”
Toomey was one of a handful of Republican senators that voted with Democrats in September 2019 to oppose Trump’s declaration of emergency funding for a border wall with Mexico.
Toomey has sponsored legislation condemning China for crackdowns in Hong Kong.
In July, Trump attacked Toomey on Twitter, calling him a “RINO” (Republican in Name Only) after Toomey and Utah Sen. Mitch Romney were the only two Senate Republicans to criticize Trump’s commuting the sentence of convicted campaign advisor Roger Stone.
Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who was investigated by the FBI for possible insider stock trading, also has announced that he will retire after term expires in 2022.