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Toomey says he won't run for another Senate term or governor

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., speaks during a ceremony Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Washington. Toomey will not seek re-election in 2022, according to a person with direct knowledge of Toomey's plans, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., speaks during a ceremony Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Washington. Toomey will not seek re-election in 2022, according to a person with direct knowledge of Toomey's plans, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania will not seek reelection in 2022 and plans to leave public service, he confirmed, a surprise move for the fiercely anti-tax and anti-regulation lawmaker who had been seen as the favorite to be the party's nominee for governor in two years.

Toomey’s decision will force Pennsylvania Republicans to look elsewhere for candidates — and to a wide-open field — for both seats in a politically divided state where both parties have shown they can win statewide races.

At a news conference near his home in suburban Allentown, Toomey said he will serve out the final two years of his second term, “and after that my plan is to go back to the private sector.”

“I always thought that I’d probably serve just two terms and often mentioned that along the way,” Toomey said at the news conference at the studios of WLVT-TV, standing with his wife and three children, the youngest of whom is 10.

Toomey, 58, called his reasons “personal, not political,” and said that 18 years in public office, including six years in the U.S. House from 1999 through 2004, is a long time and had demanded sacrifices from his family.

Toomey had long expressed an interest in running for governor, and he drew calls on a daily basis from people who he said wanted to help him run for governor or for reelection to the Senate.

Once his mind was made up, he said, he felt he should be candid about it.

“I’m looking forward to more time back at home,” he said.