Pa. GOP Senate nominee hopes to tap star power of new Mass. senator who won Kennedy’s seat

By Marc Levy, AP
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mass. Sen. Brown to headline Pa. Senate fundraiser

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Freshman U.S. Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts will headline a Philadelphia fundraiser for Pennsylvania’s Republican candidate for Senate, Pat Toomey.

The Friday fundraiser with Brown makes him the second New England senator in two months to raise money for Toomey in Philadelphia.

Brown declined comment through a spokesman Tuesday.

Toomey is in a closely contested race with Democrat Joe Sestak and is working to broaden his appeal to independent and moderate voters in a state where the 4.3 million Democrats outnumber Republicans by 1.2 million. During three terms in the U.S. House ending in 2005, Toomey compiled a very conservative voting record.

Moderate Maine Sen. Susan Collins appeared at a fundraiser for Toomey in August, even though Toomey had been critical of Collins before he began his Senate campaign.

Brown became nationally known in January when he won the seat of the late Ted Kennedy in traditionally Democratic Massachusetts.

Brown, initially a darling of tea party voters, has moved to the political center, and voted with Democrats on a major jobs bill and a sweeping financial reform plan in recent months.

He recently traveled cross-country to raise money for mostly moderate, establishment Republican candidates in competitive races. Brown’s trip did not include stops for tea party-favorites running for Senate.

Michael Czin, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, issued a statement Tuesday criticizing Brown for campaigning for “tea party Republicans” outside his home state.

“While in Massachusetts, Scott Brown desperately tries to sell himself as a moderate, but when he leaves the state he’s all tea party all the time,” Czin said.

Pennsylvania’s Senate campaign is emerging as a priority for both parties, with millions of dollars in television ads flowing into the race from outside the state.

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