Polls /

PA Dem Sen Casey draws a primary challenge from the left – Breitbart

  |   By Polling+ Staff

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) speaks at the "Time to Deliver" Home Care Workers rally and march on November 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for SEIU)

Talk about coming out of left field.

Next year Pennsylvania will have another hot race for the U.S. Senate. The certain Republican nominee will be Dave McCormack, a wealthy businessman who lost last year’s 2022 GOP Senate primary to Dr. Mehmet Oz by a tantalizingly close margin just over 900 votes. In 2024 McCormack is unopposed and will surely be the nominee.

The battle for the Senate seat will be against incumbent Democrat Senator Bob Casey Jr., namesake son of the late – and very popular – Democrat Governor Bob Casey Sr. Casey Jr. has been assumed by Pennsylvania political observers to be far in the lead based on the popularity of the Casey name.

Yet out of the blue comes the news in Breitbart https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2023/09/26/pennsylvania-democrat-announces-primary-bid-challenging-sen-bob-casey/ that, amazingly, it is Casey who is going to face a primary challenge -from another Democrat.

Breitbart headlines:

Pennsylvania Democrat Announces Primary Bid Challenging Sen. Bob Casey 

The story reports:

“Pennsylvania Democrat Blaine Forkner announced the launch of his progressive senatorial campaign, gearing up a primary challenge for Democrat Sen. Bob Casey, whom potential Republican challengers criticize as having no true record of accomplishments, rather acting as nothing more than a “rubber stamp” for the Biden agenda.

Forkner, a 43-year-old engineer living in Pittsburgh, has pitched himself as a “progressive voice who will never back down.” 

‘I’m running for U.S. Senate to give a voice to the teacher, the student, the nurse, the doctor, the electrician, the engineer, and everyday Americans everywhere,’ Forkner said in a statement, vowing to ‘fight against the Washington bureaucrats and plutocrats to make healthcare universal for everyone, lower the cost of a college degree and ensure an economic future that works for workers.’

The ‘Meet Blaine’ section of his website (found here https://blaineforkner.com/about/  ) describes the Senate hopeful’s humble beginnings, living in hotels and trailer parks in seven states.”

The site also makes plain that health care and gun control will be major issues for Forkner. His site notes:

“In the face of adversity, Blaine’s life took a transformative turn, prompting him to establish his own electrical engineering consulting firm from his basement. That journey instilled in him a deep appreciation for accessible and affordable healthcare, as he witnessed firsthand the hardships faced by loved ones who battled cancer and addiction. Blaine is determined to advocate for comprehensive healthcare solutions that cater to the needs of every individual.

Tragic events have touched Blaine’s life personally, including the sorrowful incident at Virginia Tech’s campus on April 16th, 2007, where three of his cousins were present, and his grandfather taught classes in Norris Hall. Additionally, he experienced a similar ordeal at a higher education facility he designed, further reinforcing his commitment to make schools safer and to ensure the safety and security of every student.”

The reference to Virginia Tech is to a 2007 mass shooting on campus by an undergraduate that killed 32 and wounded 17 others, with another 6 injured by jumping out of windows to escape the shooter.

It certainly was expected by Pennsylvania political observers that much attention would be focused on a Casey versus McCormack showdown.

Very much unexpected was that Casey would face a primary challenge from another Democrat who is coming at him from the progressive left.

That said, Forkner has an uphill battle ahead. But it is notable that he is making this challenge to Casey. Setting up the question of just how much clout the far left has inside the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.

Stay tuned.