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Bartos Declares Candidacy For U.S. Senate In Pennsylvania

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Keith Srakocic
/
AP
Scott Wagner, left, Republican candidate for Pennsylvania Governor, and lieutenant governor candidate Jeff Bartos, right, campaign at a diner in Imperial, Pa. Monday, May 14, 2018 , the day before the Pennsylvania primary.

Jeff Bartos is formally launching his campaign for Pennsylvania's wide-open U.S. Senate race, the highest-profile Republican candidate so far to declare for the seat.

Bartos, the Republican Party's nominee for lieutenant governor in 2018, has said he was seriously considering a run and filed paperwork to run last month. On Monday, the suburban Philadelphia real estate investor and longtime GOP fundraiser updated his campaign website to say that he is running.

The Montgomery County resident is playing up his roots in Berks County and his work over the past year as a co-founder of the Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund, a non-profit that raised more than $3 million to distribute as forgivable loans to small businesses in Pennsylvania struggling through the pandemic.

Bartos originally started running for U.S. Senate in 2017 before switching to the lieutenant governor's race after then-U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta joined the Senate stakes with Donald Trump's backing.

Bartos, 48, has longtime connections to GOP campaign donors and political elite through his work fundraising for candidates. He also served briefly as the state party’s finance chair.

The Senate seat in the presidential battleground is being left open after two-term Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey announced in Octobe r that he would not run again.