Draft Suggestion: Mark Schweiker for PA-SEN

In 2012, single term US Senator Bob Casey will be up for reelection. The pro-life Democrat who, after failing in a bid for Governor, decided to run for US Senate against Rick Santorum in a heavily Democratic year. Santorum was a controversial Republican who spouted out at the mouth specifically about social issues (ex. comparing homosexuality to beastiality) who running for reelection in a bad Republican year in a purple state. Santorum was doomed against a popular State Treasurer. In 2012, the stars may be aligned to take out Bob Casey, I suggest we try to draft Mark Schweiker.

Schweiker served as Bucks County Commissioner from 1988 to 1995 when he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. In 2001, when Governor Ridge resigned to become President Bush’s first Homeland Security Secretary, Schweiker stepped in as Governor. He championed some of the most sweeping tort reforms in state history, funded a new pre-school program, and personally oversaw the 77-hour rescue operation from the Quecreek Mine disaster. He dealt with budget shortfalls, helped rebuild the state police, and beefed up state security. That was in 2002, the full year he served as Governor.

Despite the fact that polling showed him defeating eventual nominee Ed Rendell handily, Schweiker decided not to run for a full term. Following his tenure as Governor, Schweiker worked in the private sector as CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce from 2003 until 2009. In 2009, Schweiker became the President of business process outsourcing of the Philadelphia area pharmaceutical manufacturer.

With nearly 10 years out of politics, Schweiker comes as a fresh face, but with a solid background / experience that is unquestioned. His heroic role in leading the rescue operation from the Quecreek Mine disaster is unforgettable to many in Pennsylvania. Schweiker could be a solid candidate and, with the right platform, could help take back this US Senate seat. Rumor has it that he’s already being approached about the seat – I hope he considers the race.

Cross-posted to Old Line Elephant

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