Chester County businessman Steve Welch has announced he’ll enter the Republican primary for Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Bob Casey’s seat next year.
Welch joins a field of six other declared candidates. His wealth and willingness to fund his own campaign make him a viable candidate, since none of his rivals have statewide name recognition.
Welch’s bio does expose one vulnerability in a Republican primary–he was a Democrat from 2005 to 2009.
In an introductory video, Welch offered an explanation.
“A few years ago, like a lot of people, when I saw the Republicans in Washington breaking their promises to get spending under control, I was so upset I switched parties,” Welch explains in the video voiceover.
Welch’s video follows that confession with a quick segue to Republican themes.
“That was nothing compared to the outrage of Barack Obama, Bob Casey, and the Democrats in Congress, when they forced on us their failed stimulus package, their outrageous taxpayer-funded corporate bailouts,” Welch says in the video.
Welch joined the race the same week another Republican jumped in.
Businessman Tim Burns, the party’s unsuccessful nominee for the western Pennsylvania congressional seat once held by Jack Murtha, announced his candidacy Wednesday.