A sudden rush of attractive open House seats has pushed a few longshot Republican Senate candidates in states carried by President Trump to alter their campaign plans for what could be a potentially challenging environment.
In Pennsylvania, state Rep. Rick Saccone and Berwick Councilman Andrew Shecktor dropped challenges to Sen. Bob Casey to run for a pair of open GOP-leaning seats. In both cases, the general election—if they get that far—won’t be nearly as difficult as taking on a well-funded and popular Democratic incumbent.
Shecktor is running for the 11th District seat Rep. Lou Barletta is vacating to run for the Senate. Saccone, now running in the special election for resigning Rep. Tim Murphy‘s 18th District, could win a spot in Congress by evading a primary altogether—party insiders will choose the GOP nominee for the yet-to-be scheduled election.
That’s not the case for businesswoman Lena Epstein‘s bid in Michigan’s swingy 11th District in suburban Detroit. She won’t have to raise the kind of funds needed to take on Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, but if Epstein emerges from the crowded primary she will likely face a formidable Democrat in the targeted race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Dave Trott.
— Ally Mutnick