Pennsylvania Republican leaders have had no luck so far in their efforts to recruit a well-known challenger to take on Democratic Sen. Bob Casey in 2012.
Maybe David A. Christian of Bucks County will fit the bill.
Christian, a decorated Vietnam War combat veteran and businessman, announced Monday he was considering seeking the GOP Senate nomination.
"I have to go back to the old economic 'misery index,'" Christian, 62, said. "If it hadn't gone up so much I wouldn't even have considered running for office, to tell you the truth." But he said friends have convinced him the nation needs his job-creating talents after people he knows urged him to run.
Christian, a veterans activist and former government official, twice unsuccessfully ran for Congress against then-Democratic Rep. Peter Kostmayer, in 1984 and 1986. He lost by just 4,000 votes in the Reagan landslide year of 1984, and by 40,000 votes two years later.
During those campaigns, Christian was haunted by an investigation into whether he had overcharged the state rent for a building he owned that was to be used as a veterans' center. No charges were brought and the investigation was closed, but Kostmayer had grist for some tough attack ads.
"I have friends who are small business owners, and they'd like to hire people, but they're afraid" because of the uncertain cost of government regulations and taxes, Christian said. He said that the Obama administration's health-care overhaul should be repealed and a flat tax should be implemented to encourage economic growth and eliminate loopholes. "I've created jobs," he said.
Christian is an executive at a manufacturing company in Northeast Philadelphia that makes hydraulic equipment for servicing warplanes aboard aircraft carriers.
He said his exploration "is going to be short and sweet," and that whether he can raise enough money would be the most important consideration. Christian said he would put some of his own money into a campaign as well as raise contributions from others.
Casey, whose poll numbers are stronger than President Obama's in the state, has $3.1 million on hand, according to his campaign finance reports.
Christian, a former Airborne ranger and Green Beret, graduated Villanova University and the Rutgers University Law School. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, a Bronze Star, and seven Purple Hearts, among other decorations for courage in combat.