Jeff Bartos isn’t the first Republican to announce he’s running for the U.S. Senate, but he’s certainly made the biggest social-media splash.
In a colorful tweet accompanied with a 15-second video clip, Bartos announced, “I’m running for U.S. Senate to get s*** done.”
“During the Trump administration, millions of Pennsylvanians who had felt abandoned and forgotten had someone fighting for them in Washington and delivering real results for their communities. We cannot afford to return to a time when working families and small businesses, which are the lifeblood of our communities, had their priorities and well-being ignored by their elected officials,” said Bartos. “Pennsylvanians deserve to have someone fighting for them – and that’s why I’m running for U.S. Senate.”
Bartos’ mention of former Pres. Trump in his opening release shows his team believes Trump will influence the GOP primary even while out of office. There is some speculation the reason normally soft-spoken Bartos sent out a release headlined, “POLITICIANS TALK. I’M RUNNING TO GET S**T DONE,” was a signal he’s prepared to release his Inner Trump.
Since his 2018 defeat, Bartos has been active in politics, keeping up political relationships and raising his profile statewide. Just last week, Bartos appeared on Tucker Carlson’s program to promote the PA30DayFund. The nonprofit is designed to help businesses struggling due to COVID-19’s impact pay their bills by offering a forgivable loan of up to $3,000.
Notable successes of PA30DayFund include joining forces with The Barstool Fund to help save the Redding Terminal Market in Philadelphia.
Bartos may be facing a familiar opponent should he prove successful in his primary bid. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has announced his intention to run for Senate seat, his second attempt as well. Bartos and Fetterman struck a friendship in 2018, one that may face a difficult test in 2022.
Fetterman has already raised $1 million in what is likely to be one of the nation’s most expensive races. Among the potential field of Democrats who may enter the primary: state Sen, Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia); state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia); former Norristown Borough Council president John McGuigan; and Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester).
Other Republicans mulling a run include former congressman and vocal Trump critic Ryan Costello, former chief of staff to the late Sen. Arlen Spector, Craig Snyder; Kenneth Braithwaite, secretary of the Navy under Trump; U.S. ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands; Everett Stern. a noted whistleblower; former congressional candidate Sean Parnell; Paul Mango, a former gubernatorial candidate; and Trump appointee and Congressman Guy Reschenthaler (R-Washington).