Opportunities to run for a state Senate seat don't come around very often in Pennsylvania. Monday's announcement by state Sen. Rob Wonderling that he is resigning his 24th Senatorial District seat to take a job as president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce will prompt a lot of jockeying to replace Wonderling.
The 24th District covers parts of Bucks, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties. A prominent political figure from Montgomery County just happens to live in one of the communities within the 24th Senate District.
Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor, a former county District Attorney, is considering making a run for the Republican nomination for Wonderling's seat.
"I am weighing all of these factors and considering whether my experience in government and in the judicial system would offer the best representation to residents of the 24th Senate District," Castor said in a prepared statement released today. "I am continuing to discuss this decision with citizens, Republican Party leaders and my family. The most important factor in my decision is whether I think I can do more good in Harrisburg then I can in Norristown."
That's is a no-brainer. Under the secret power-sharing pact made last year by Republican Commissioner Jim Matthews and Democratic Commissioner Joe Hoeffel, Castor is the odd-man out on the three-member commissioners' board.
Hoeffel makes all the decisions and Matthews rubber-stamps them, often keeping Castor out of the loop. As long as Matthews bows to Hoeffel's wishes, Castor might as well give up the commissioners' seat since he doesn't have a role in determining county policy.
The only other rub is that Castor has been considering a run for lieutenant governor in 2010. If he runs for state Senate, it's doubtful he'll make another run for higher office next year. Would he want to be labeled a perpetual candidate like Bob Casey Jr., who is planning his next political campaign as soon as he wins an election?