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Daily News endorsements for Senate, House

Our choices are McGinty, Evans and Santarsiero

If Hillary Clinton is elected, Katie McGinty will be a clear ally of the president, and could provide important support for her agenda in the Senate.
If Hillary Clinton is elected, Katie McGinty will be a clear ally of the president, and could provide important support for her agenda in the Senate.Read moreDAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

FOR THE RECORD, neither Pat Toomey nor Katie McGinty resemble the cartoonish images of them we are seeing on TV ads paid for by the super-PACS supporting each candidate.

In person, Toomey, Pennsylvania's Republican U.S. Senate, and McGinty, his Democratic opponent, seem like sensible and sane people who happen to be divided by their political philosophies.

McGinty, a liberal candidate, lacks experience in elected office and is not a polished campaigner. She has served in a variety of public policy jobs, including as chief of staff to Gov. Tom Wolf. And her credentials, as chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality under President Bill Clinton and secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection under Gov. Ed Rendell, bring much needed depth to environmental issues.

Toomey, a former businessman, has a far-right record like Sen. Rick Santorum's, but he lacks Santorum's snarly demeanor. He comes across as a reasonable guy.

But we shouldn't judge the race on matters of style and personality.

That's why we enthusiastically endorse Katie McGinty for the U.S. Senate.

If Hillary Clinton is elected, McGinty will be a clear ally of the president - and could provide important support for her agenda in the Senate. That is a big plus for us.

In this campaign, Toomey has portrayed himself as a man with the "independence and backbone" to stand up to whoever is in the White House, a list that presumably includes Donald Trump, his party's nominee.

We question Toomey's definition of "independence." His record shows that the incumbent is a partisan loyal to the Republican party. In 2014, he voted with his Republican leadership 90.6 percent of the time, according to Ballotpedia. He has been a consistent, unwavering opponent of President Obama's legislative agenda, even measures designed to attract bipartisan support.

As to "backbone," that's hardly been in evidence in Toomey's timid handling of his party's nominee. While many Republican officials have come out against Trump, and some remain steadfast in their support, Toomey has stood firmly on the sidelines, refusing to endorse or unendorse Trump.

That doesn't look like backbone to us. That looks like a weak-kneed political calculation.

The days of true Republican centrism practiced by Pennsylvanians like Hugh Scott, John Heinz, Richard Schweiker and Arlen Specter are over. Instead, we live in a poisonous partisan environment that has led to paralysis in Washington, thanks mostly to the Republicans in the House and Senate. Pat Toomey is not part of the solution; he is part of the problem.

If Clinton is elected, we can expect him to vote in lockstep with his Republican caucus to block every aspect of Clinton's agenda.

We've had enough of political paralysis. McGinty will work for the Clinton agenda, and her winning a seat in the Senate will give Democrats a chance to get the majority in that chamber.

There are two open U.S. House seats in the area. In the Second Congressional District, state Rep. Dwight Evans is opposing Republican James Jones for the seat once held by Rep. Chaka Fattah, whom Evans defeated in the Democratic primary.

We endorse Dwight Evans. He is a skilled legislative veteran who not only talks the talk about independence, but walks the walk. He's never been unwilling to work with Republicans in Harrisburg when it came to fulfilling mutual goals.

In the Eighth District, centered in Bucks County, U.S. Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick is retiring. The candidates seeking to replace him are Democrat state Rep. Steve Santarsiero and Brian Fitzpatrick, a Republican who is the congressman's brother.

Rep. Fitzpatrick worked hard to get the Republican nomination for his brother, and we applaud him for his loyalty to his family. But we don't believe that political office should be subject to inheritance. We endorse state Rep. Santarsiero, who also has a far more impressive record.