National and Pennsylvania Republican leaders can fawn over their latest rich recruit all they want, but that’s not going to stop conservative lawyer Mark Scarinigi from beating the bushes for the nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Bob Casey in 2012.
“It’s not frustrating, it’s a fact of life,” Scaringi said, reacting to efforts to woo Chester County biotech millionaire Steve Welch into the race. “It’s my job and responsibility to prove to the Republican leadership, the county chairmen, the county committee members and rank and file voters that I can win…Unfortunately, I can’t self-fund. I am not a wealthy candidate.”
So far, the GOP has not been able to recruit a first-tier candidate to go up against Casey. Several of the party’s rising stars, including state Sen. Jake Corman of Centre County, took a pass. In addition to Welch, Pittsburgh businessman Keith Loisette is reportedly considering the race, as is Bucks County businessman and Vietnam War hero David Christian.
Scaringi, 40, is a Tea Party enthusiast who worked for former Sen. Rick Santorum and former state Attorney General Mike Fisher. So far, he’s been in 42 counties, appearing at endless local GOP gatherings, and in parades and county fairs, as well as visiting any tea party organization that will give him an audience. So far he is the only announced Republican candidate, jumping in last October.