Former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he won't run for governor next year but is strongly considering a rematch against Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in 2016.
The Democrat told the AP in an interview that the U.S. Senate is racked by a lack of trust and "careening from crisis to crisis." The retired Navy vice admiral said he believes his skills would be more useful in the Senate instead of the governor's office.
"I have spent a lot of time listening to and talking with the people of Pennsylvania ... in their homes, at diners, coffee shops, in labor and small business gatherings, and VFW halls," he said. "The government of the people has rarely been held in such low regard by the people, undermining our sense of unity — what we stand for and what we are capable of."
Sestak beat Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter in the 2010 Democratic primary, but narrowly lost to Toomey in the general election.
Sestak said he will "fully support" whomever the Democratic Party picks to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. Already, there are more than a half-dozen declared and prospective candidates.
Sestak, who had previously held open the possibility of a gubernatorial campaign, raised $460,000 in the first quarter of this year.
The state Republican Party recently filed a complaint against Sestak with the Federal Election Commission, contending that he should have declared which office he is seeking once he raised more than $5,000.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.