GOP candidates vying for Casey’s Senate seat debate in N.Y.

    Ten Republicans are competing for the chance to take on Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Bob Casey next year.

    Most of them met in New York for a debate at the political networking event known as Pennsylvania Society weekend.

    xDespite the surge of Republican fortunes across the country, Democrat Casey is considered a tough guy to beat. So while the Republican primary field is crowded, it’s lacking in party heavyweights.

    It includes an 18-year legislator; a former congressional candidate; a former staffer to presidential candidate and former Sen. Rick Santorum; two rich guys; two people with ties to the tea party; and a pharmacist who couldn’t make it to the debate because he said he couldn’t get off work.

    “I am running for the United State Senate to stop President Obama and Sen. Casey from continuing to assault our liberties, our freedoms, our free-enterprise system, and, indeed, the very American way of life,” said Harrisburg lawyer Mark Scaringi.

    His stump speech was typical of the seven candidates who showed up for the debate. Strongly anti-abortion and anti-tax, they spent most of the time attacking Democrats rather than one another.

    A key moment in the race will come next month, when the Republican State Committee could endorse a candidate.

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