Sam Rohrer, former state representative and tea party-driven Republican primary foe for Gov. Tom Corbett, says he is seriously considering a run for U.S. Senate and likely will decide by mid-summer.
Rohrer is the Pennsylvania director for Americans for Prosperity -- a grassroots group with a long history of backing conservative causes that more recently has helped fuel the tea party -- a post that brought him to Washington today for a rally to demand either massive spending cuts or a government shutdown. Rohrer did not speak, but after the rally several Pennsylvanians approached him and encouraged him to take a run for a job inside the U.S. Capitol rather than chanting on its front lawn.
"I'm not averse to running again," Rohrer said, later adding that he is about 50-50 on whether he will get in the race to unseat first-term Sen. Bob Casey next year.
Rohrer said his race against Corbett gave him valuable insight on how to run statewide and now making the rounds for AFP he is much more well known across the state's conservative grassroots than he was the first go-round.
"Oftentimes it takes two times running a statewide race for people to know who you are," he said.
He also cited the weak field so far, which includes Harrisburg attorney Marc Scaringi and tea partier Laureen Cummings, with potential bids from Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack and state Sen. Jake Corman.
"I think it's weak because to some extent there has not been an adequate development process for leaders and it's also 2012, it's a presidential year, not 2010 where you had fewer people turning out," Rohrer said. "So people say it doesn't favor a Republican. I'd say it doesn't favor a Republican of the normal sort. But I don't think 2012 is going to be 2008.
"This message," he said, gesturing to the crowds that had spent an hour yelling and chanting against spending, "this will be the right message in 2012."
Photo by AP.