Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, an early hopeful for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, is announcing seven endorsements tonight during a Facebook event, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza reports -- including Pennsylvania Senate candidate Pat Toomey and Tim Burns, running for Rep. John P. Murtha's open seat in the 12th District.
Cillizza notes that none of the endorsed candidates are incumbents, "a move likely aimed at reinforcing his outsider status within the party."
The other candidates: Pat Meehan in Pennsylvania's 7th district -- the seat being vacated by potential Toomey foe Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Delaware County -- Bob Dold in Illinois' 10th district, Sean Duffy in Wisconsin's 7th, Charles Djou in Hawaii's 1st and North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven, who's running for Senate.
Full story here.
An update, courtesy of the DNC, which dredged up this Toomey quote in The Hill newspaper from June '08 on Pawlenty, when he was on the short list to be John McCain's running mate: "The Club for Growth has taken note of the cigarette fee, as well as Pawlenty's signing of a minimum wage increase, a statewide smoking ban and environmental regulations. He vetoed another minimum wage increase just recently. ‘Gov. Pawlenty's record is not as a solidly free-market and limited-government’ as some other candidates', said the group's president, former Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)."
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