Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale and younger brother Sean announced Tuesday that they are taking their brand of Republican establishment-bashing politics statewide in 2022.
Joe Gale said he’s running for Pennsylvania governor. Sean Gale, an attorney, confirmed in an email that he’s running for U.S. Senate.
Both seats are open next year because Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is term-limited and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey isn’t seeking reelection. The Republican primaries in both contests are expected to draw a stampede of candidates.
In a statement, Joe Gale recounted his many battles with the Montgomery County Republican Party, starting with his decision to run against an endorsed candidate for commissioner at the age of 26 in 2015. He won that race and has since welcomed controversy while in office, including last year labeling Black Lives Matter a “radical left-wing hate group.”
Gale’s statement repeated many of the insults he and his brother have hurled at fellow Republicans over the years, and touted their support for former President Donald Trump. It took particular aim at Toomey, one of only seven Republicans who voted to convict Trump at his second impeachment trial last week.
Joe Gale knocked Toomey as “a textbook RINO (Republican in name only) who has been an utter disappointment to conservative voters.”
“Sadly, in the final days of Donald Trump’s sabotaged presidency and the bogus impeachment that followed, we have witnessed the beginning of a concerted effort by entrenched politicians and party bosses to return the Republican Party to the failed policies and platforms of the Bush, McCain and Romney era,” Joe Gale said. “However, the Republican Party cannot go backward to move forward.”
The Gale brothers declined an interview request Tuesday. Sean Gale, in an email, noted that he turned 30 on Monday, two days after Toomey voted to convict Trump. Sean Gale described that as Toomey stabbing Trump in the back. U.S. senators must be at least 30 years old to serve.
“I am now old enough to be a Senator and no longer have to sit on the sidelines, complaining and throwing my shoe at the television,” Sean Gale said.
This isn’t the first time the Gale brothers have teamed up as a ticket. They ran for seats on the county commission in 2019, hoping to take back Republican control of the governing board in the increasingly Democratic county. Sean Gale finished fourth out of five candidates in that Republican primary, while his brother finished second, securing a spot on the general election ballot. Joe Gale then won a second term.
Joe Gale, now 31, ran into an age-limit problem when he attempted to run for lieutenant governor in 2018. A judge ruled him ineligible as a candidate because the state constitution limits eligibility for that office to citizens “who shall have attained the age of 30 years.” Gale, who was 28 when he announced his candidacy and when he was removed from the ballot, would have been two months shy of 30 at the start of the lieutenant governor’s term in early 2019.
The two brothers are registered to vote at the home their parents bought 33 years ago in Plymouth Meeting. Sean Gale said they “care for our aging parents, both of whom are dealing with serious health issues.”
State Attorney General Josh Shapiro is widely seen as the early Democratic front-runner in the governor’s race. Other Republicans said to be eyeing the race include U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser and former Philadelphia insurance executive Daniel J. Hilferty.