Kelly Mulls 2018 Senate Race Against Casey

BUTLER, Pa. – U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-3 Pa., says he will decide by late summer whether he will challenge incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Casey for the seat.

Kelly, R-3 Pa., who has ruled out running against Gov. Tom Wolf, said he would give “serious consideration” to running for the Senate seat in the months ahead.

“Senator Casey’s far-left pandering in Washington along with his paper-thin record of accomplishments during his long career in government have made him a disappointing representative of Pennsylvania,” Kelly said in a statement. “The people of our commonwealth deserve two active legislators who will energetically represent common-sense Pennsylvania values in Congress’s upper chamber.”

Kelly was elected to the House of Representatives in 2010. “A great number of friends and supporters” have encouraged him, he said,  to consider running for governor of the U.S. Senate. Last week he reached out to several potential GOP candidates for governor to inform them that he would not pursue the nomination in that race.

“This is in no small part because I believe our party has a promising field of strong candidates who will make an aggressive case to Pennsylvania voters that Governor Wolf’s agenda has failed us and that it is time for new leadership in Harrisburg,” Kelly said. He also pledged to each of them that he would “fully support” the Republican nominee.

Kelly is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Last week he discussed the need for tax reform during a hearing that included input from executives representing AT&T, Atlas Tool Works Inc. and S&P Global.

“You are the revenue producers, we are the spenders,” Kelly told the executives. “You are the producers. Thank God we are finally getting the private sector in front of us right now, letting everybody in the world know how we improve our country.”

Everyone agrees on the need for tax reform, but the next issue is determining what is fair, how fairness is addressed and defined, and what is best for everyone, he said.

“It better be pro-growth,” he said.

Later, during a segment on Fox Business Network’s Caputo: Coast to Coast, Kelly said Congress needs to focus on tax reform despite what he characterized as “distractions” in Washington. “It’s the relentless pursuit of the president by the left and we’re going to continue to see this,” he remarked.

Those distractions include investigations into Russia’s interference in last year’s election and President Donald Trump’s recent firing of FBI Director James Comey.

“It is up to this Congress right now to work with people on both sides of the aisle to fix a broken tax code for all of them, not just corporate people, by the way, but individuals, and that is our mission, and we have to stay focused on that,” he said.

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