“[W]e just never really felt that he was behind the president”

Some Republicans said condemnation of Toomey was a long time coming. They bristled at his push, starting after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, to expand background checks for gun purchases, and many remembered his reluctance to support Trump in 2016.

“Combined with his previous attacks on America’s Second Amendment, [Toomey] continues to use the Republican banner while actively working against conservative values, principles, and elected Republicans in public office,” a Centre County GOP censure resolution said.

Other Republicans, notably those from more moderate parts of the state, were uneasy with the scorn directed his way. Some worry that hewing to Trump’s political brand is a route to electoral disaster, especially if the party continues bleeding in the vote-rich suburbs…

“If Pat Toomey did what he did, he did it because he thought it through thoroughly. It’s a conscience issue for him,” said Alan Novak, a former state GOP chairman from Chester County. “Pat Toomey represented the Republican Party exactly the way we wanted him to when he was in the Senate, a real policy-driven, policy wonk, problem-solving kind of guy.”