Ex-Gov./ex-DHS Sec. Tom Ridge (R) today said he won't seek the GOP nod for SEN in PA.
"After careful consideration and many conversations with friends and family and the leadership of my party, I have decided not to seek the Republican nomination for Senate.
"I am enormously grateful for the confidence my party expressed in me, the encouragement and kindness of my fellow citizens in Pennsylvania and the valuable counsel I received from so many of my party colleagues. The 2010 race has significant implications for my party, and that required thoughtful reflection. All of the above made my decision a difficult and deeply personal conclusion to reach.
After Sen. Arlen Specter switched parties last week to run in '10 as a Dem, rumblings increased about the possibility that Ridge would battle the vulnerable incumbent. Polls show Specter vulnerable, but defeating Pat Toomey, who left his job as head of the conservative Club for Growth, to primary Specter.
Specter could still face serious Dem primary challenges; Rep. Joe Sestak, a former Navy vice admiral, said today that he's seriously considering challenging Specter. Sestak could cause early headaches, but with his most formidable GOP rival out of the contest, Specter can breathe at least one sigh of relief for now.
So the general outlook looks better but the primary could get gnarly.