Rep. Mike Kelly Considering Senate Run Against Casey

Pennsylvania congressman, senator trade barbs

When asked about a potential Senate run against Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, Rep. Mike Kelly, center, said, “I’d be lying to you if I said I’m not looking.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly amped up speculation Wednesday that he will try to oust Sen. Bob Casey next year, telling a conservative news site that he is considering a run for the seat.

“I’d be lying to you if I said I’m not looking so, sure. I’m looking,” the four-term Republican told The Daily Caller, adding that he was also interested in running for governor.

That comes amid speculation that Kelly, 68, would try to ride his state’s support for Donald Trump to higher office. Trump carried Pennsylvania in last fall’s election, the first Republican to do so since 1988.

Kelly and Casey, a Democrat, recently traded barbs over Casey’s opposition to Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

Kelly compared Casey, unfavorably, to Casey’s father, Bob Casey Sr., who served as the state’s governor from 1987 to 1995.

“The only thing they have in common is their name,” he told The Daily Item of Sunbury, Pennsylvania.  

Casey’s office took the bait.  

“When Congressman Kelly isn’t hiding from his constituents who want a town hall, he’s floating baseless conspiracy theories about President [Barack] Obama running a shadow government and launching snippy attacks on others,” Casey spokesman John Rizzo said in an email to the Pennsylvania politics blog, PoliticsPA.  

“We are becoming a bit concerned about Congressman Kelly — maybe Washington has gotten to him,” Rizzo continued.

The blog speculated that Casey was trying to prepare for a possible Kelly challenge. Kelly has campaigned in past races as a Washington outsider. 

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