PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Another Republican wants to take on Senator Bob Casey this year.
Tim Burns, who lost a race for Congress two years ago, is back and this time he says he’s ready to win.
Burns, a local Republican businessman, is no stranger to politics. The Washington County resident ran for Congress twice in 2010 and came within 3,000 votes of unseating incumbent Congressman Mark Critz.
This year he’s setting his sights higher — a run for the U.S. Senate against Democratic Senator Bob Casey, whom, he says, is beatable.
“People don’t realize that Casey has really voted with Obama 98 percent of the time. When Obama needed healthcare, Casey was there. When Obama needed the stimulus bill, Casey was there,” Burns told KDKA Political Editor Jon Delano.
But to get to Casey, Burns must first win the Republican primary in just a few months. Eight candidates are already in the hunt.
Besides Burns, those candidates include: David Christian, Bucks County; John Kensinger, Bedford County; Robert Allen Mansfield, Philadelphia County; Sam Rohrer, Berks County; Marc Scaringi, Cumberland County; Tom Smith, Armstrong County; and Steve Welch of Chester County are GOP candidates for Senate.
Burns highlighted his experience in the private sector.
“I started a business in my basement, and then after many years grew that business to over 400 employees,” Burns said.
And Burns believes he is the strongest Republican to take on Casey.
“We only had 28 percent Republicans in that district. I managed to get 49.6 percent of the vote,” he said, “I’ve proven that I can get Democrats to vote for me and that my message resonates with both parties.”
And Burns hopes there’s some hometown loyalty, too.
“I’ve lived in Penn Hills, I’ve lived in Shadyside, I’ve lived in Bloomfield. This is my hometown, and I do feel like I’m the Pittsburgh candidate,” he said.
Burns is not the only local candidate. Tom Smith of Armstrong County has already run ads promoting his candidacy.
The state Republican Party is expected to endorse a candidate on January 28th, and some of the field may drop out after that.
The primary election is 14 weeks from Tuesday.