HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — George Bochetto, a prominent Philadelphia lawyer and Republican whose cases have often landed in the public spotlight, said Thursday that he is seriously considering running for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat.

In a brief interview, Bochetto, 69, said he is “looking at it very, very seriously and it’s very likely” that he will decide to run. Bochetto has considered running for mayor many times in the heavily Democratic city of Philadelphia and ran briefly in 1999 before ending his candidacy.

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In August, Bochetto won a judge’s ruling preventing the city of Philadelphia from removing a 144-year-old statue of Christopher Columbus in a dispute that highlighted tensions over views of exploration, Italian American history and colonialism that changed the lives and cultures of native people.

Bochetto also helped write the defense brief in former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial earlier this year, he said.

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The Republican primary field for U.S. Senate is in flux, with Mehmet Oz — best known as the host of TV’s “Dr. Oz Show” — saying that he’s moved from New Jersey to run and David McCormick, CEO of one of the world’s largest hedge funds, moving from Connecticut in anticipation of running, advisers say.

The wide-open race for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey is expected to be among the nation’s most competitive and could determine control of the Senate in next year’s election.

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