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Primary Day -- Republican race for the U.S. Senate

Five Republicans battle today for their party's nomination for the U.S. Senate race in the November general election.  They are:

  1. Steve Welch, the endorsed candidate of the state Republican Party, is a Malvern-based investor who has been dogged by his admitted support for President Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary election for president.

  2. Tom Smith, a former coal company owner from Armstrong County who dumped $5 million into his campaign to air commercials attacking Obama and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey.  Welch has tagged Smith for being a registered Democrat for more than four decades who, as a township supervisor, voted to raise taxes.

  3. Sam Rohrer, a former state representative from Berks County and Tea Party favorite, who has been challenging his own party since his 2010 primary run for governor against then-Attorney General Tom Corbett.  Rohrer has struggled with fund-raising.

  4. David Christian, a Bucks County businessman who has had trouble gaining traction in a field dominated by Welch and Smith.

  5. Marc Scaringi, a Harrisburg attorney and former staffer to former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.

Casey faces a primary challenge from Joe Vodvarka, a self-described "nobody" from McKees Rocks, who is not expected to come anywhere near defeating Casey's bid for a second term.