Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was given notice this week that his Republican colleague, Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, would soon be calling his political career quits.
According to The Hill, Toomey notified McConnell that he will not be seeking re-election to the Senate in 2022.
Sources told The Hill that Toomey also does not plan to run for governor of Pennsylvania, a role currently held by Democrat Tom Wolf.
Toomey’s big plans
Toomey, for his part, is a rare breed when it comes to politicians. Since he entered the ring, the Republican has maintained that he wouldn’t be a lifelong public office-holder.
As such, Toomey has continued to impose term limits on himself. In 1998, when Toomey first ran for the House, he vowed to only hold the seat for three terms.
That strategy apparently won over voters: Toomey won Pennsylvania’s 15th district that year, and was re-elected in 2000 and 2002. As promised, the then-congressman left Capitol Hill in January 2005.
Five years later, Toomey decided to make a bid for Pennsylvania’s Senate seat — and he won. After another victory in 2016, Toomey set yet another term limit on himself.
Now, the Republican is abiding by his pledge to not run again in 2022.
Losing an ally
Regardless of how important Senate seats are for Republicans this election season, Toomey’s decision must be respected simply because he is acting on something most Americans want to see anyway: term limits in the House and Senate.
Still, it will be sad to see Toomey go — and it is even worse knowing that Republicans are losing a major ally in their fight to get illegal immigration under control. Toomey has been a prominent face on that stage since he first entered public office, and even made headlines for his stance against so-called “sanctuary cities” in 2016.
Toomey has also been vocal about Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, so many hoped he’d jump in the fray to replace him in 2022. But as The Hill reports, that won’t be the case.
Toomey’s decision puts Republicans in a very defensive posture come 2022, as they will be defending a total of 22 seats, while Democrats will only have 12 up for re-election, according to The Hill. If President Donald Trump wins this November, that could certainly make for a rocky final two years of his presidency — but only time will tell.