for Philly.com's politics page.
Joseph M. Torsella, the former chief executive of the National Constitution Center, says he is seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate next year, having filed the necessary papers to create a campaign committee.
Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.), the five-term incumbent, has said he is seeking reelection and his own campaign committee has $6 million in the bank already for what is expected to be a tough race.
“Every new piece of economic news confirms we need a new direction in Washington,” Torsella said, noting that “George W. Bush, Republican leadership has failed.”
Torsella, a former deputy mayor of Philadelphia under now-Gov. Rendell, served two stints as CEO of the constitution center, first raising the funds to get the building built from 1997 until it opened in 2003. Torsella returned in 2006, and left the post Jan. 23 because, he said at the time his departure was announced, he was interested in a possible political run and did not think that was compatible with the center’s non-partisan status.
Torsella, 45, ran an unsuccessful campaign or the Democratic nomination for the 13th District seat in the U.S. House in 2004. He also worked as a consultant and as unpaid chairman of the group that sought the 2016 Olympics for Philadelphia.
“I don’t bring elected political credentials, and in normal times that might be a weakness,” Torsella said. “Now, I think it’s a strength. I have a career of getting results.”
n Thomas Fitzgerald