David Urban, Specter’s chief of staff from 1997 to 2002, when Specter was still a Republican, is leading a coordinated effort to help get former GOP Rep. Pat Toomey elected to the Senate — even though Specter is backing Toomey’s Democratic foe.
Urban, a Western Pennsylvania native, has been joined by longtime members of Specter’s kitchen cabinet in building support for Toomey among moderate Republicans in the Keystone State and in Washington, D.C.
The group includes party insiders and current and former chiefs of staff to Pennsylvania GOP Members. Not all members of the group backed Specter after he switched parties in April 2009, but others, such as lobbyist Steve Hart, are close personal friends who stuck by him through the Democratic primary and actively aided his re-election bid.
“Nobody in this town is more of a Specter loyalist than me,” Urban said. “I would like to say, at least, that we’re very close. If he were in the general election, I’d be working my best to get him re-elected. But now that he’s out, I’d say Pat Toomey is the clear choice.”