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Democrats Pick Up Pennsylvania Senate Seat Held by Rick Santorum

In recent months, Santorum created some distance from the president on issues such as immigration, but for the most part, he remained loyal, stating in a recent debate: “I think he’s been a terrific president. Absolutely.”

Casey ran as much against President Bush as against Santorum. He also made Santorum’s unapologetic connection to lobbyists a rallying point for his campaign, telling the Associated Press, “What they see with Senator Santorum time and again is a lot of ideology and special interests. … That’s why people are demanding change.”

Democrats also used personal issues such as Santorum’s use of Pennsylvania tax dollars to help pay for his children’s cyber school education while living in a Virginia suburb.

Casey grew up in the northeastern part of the state in the rust belt city of Scranton, in an intensely political and Catholic family. His father, Bob Casey, was the state’s governor from 1986 to 1995.

In 2002, Casey took on Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell for the gubernatorial nomination, saying Rendell was too liberal for the state. In the end, Rendell won the nomination by 12 points and Casey had to settle for a run for state treasurer two years later.

Rendell captured a second term as governor Tuesday night, surviving a challenge from Republican Lynn Swann, the former Steelers star.