PHILADELPHIA, Pa. | Professor Eric Orts announced that he has formally launched his campaign for the Democratic U.S. Senate primary in Pennsylvania on Thursday, becoming the only candidate to make combating the climate emergency the focus of his campaign, he says.
His announcement, according to Orts' press release, was inspired by two critical factors: the threat of an impending climate crisis, and his discontent with the current U.S. Senate.
In his announcement Orts stated that he saw, "political inaction on the climate emergency," and asked the Biden administration to declare a state of national emergency, as he noted in his press release that he believes the current administration is "moving too slowly" on the issue.
A lifelong Democrat and business ethics professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Orts has studied the climate problem from a business and policy perspective, advocating for environmental education in business schools.
In the coming months, Orts' press release noted that he will make an effort to address the climate emergency as the key to job creation and the state's economic future, while emphasizing democratic reform, voting rights, criminal justice, and an ethical economy to build a climate-resilient future.
"I can’t wait to hear directly from Pennyslvanians in the coming months on the issues that matter most to them, and work together to build a prosperous and inclusive future that will leave no one behind," Orts noted.
For more information on the campaign, visit Orts' campaign webpage.
Orts is campaigning on a crowded platform, currently challenged by 25 other candidates vying for the Senate seat so far. The seat is currently held by Republican Senator Pat Toomey, who has held the position since 2011.
Toomey announced he was not running for reelection back in October of 2020, making this an open seat race.
The most recent candidate to announce their campaign before Orts is Republican Kathy Barnette, a regular commentator on Fox News and a previous candidate running to represent Pennsylvania's 4th Congressional District.
Barnette previously ran for to represent parts of Berks and Montgomery counties in 2020, but was reportedly edged out by Democrat incumbent Madeleine Dean.
Democratic candidates running in the state Senate race, according to official reports, include: Montgomery County Commissioner Valerie Arkoosh; Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman; State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta; State Sen. Sharif Street; U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb; Kevin Baumlin, chief of emergency and urgent care services at Pennsylvania Hospital; Former Mayor of Brighton, Alabama, Brandaun Dean; Larry Johnson, a Beaver County attorney; Alexandria Khalil, member of Jenkintown Borough Council; John McGuigan, former president of the Norristown Municipal Council; Kyle Norton, a Philadelphia-based consultant; Alan Shank, an Indiana County native; and Lew Tapera, a Montgomery County native and businessman.
The Republican candidates running in the upcoming 2022 Senate race include: Kathy Barnette; real-estate developer Jeff Bartos; Montgomery-county based attorney, Sean Gale; Sean Parnell; Trump’s former ambassador to Denmark, Carla Sands; John DeBellis, a small business owner; Bobby Jeffries, a former congressional candidate; Ronald Johnson, former Fredonia council member; Martin Rosenfeld, former deputy sheriff from Elk County; Craig Snyder, Philly-based business and political consultant; and Everett Stern, failed independent candidate for Toomey’s seat in 2016.
There is reportedly one candidate seeking the Libertarian Party's nomination, and that is candidate Erik Chase Gerhardt, a Montgomery County master carpenter.