David McCormick Expected To Announce for Pennsylvania Senate on Thursday

Businessman David McCormick is the first Republican to announce in the race, and there’s plenty of time for another candidate to run in the MAGA lane.

AP/Matt Rourke, file
Dave McCormick at Coplay, Pennsylvania, January 25, 2022. AP/Matt Rourke, file

A businessman and one-time Republican candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania, David McCormick, is scheduled to make a “special announcement” at a rally at Pittsburgh on Thursday, signaling that Republicans will probably be getting their top choice of recruits in the state’s 2024 U.S. Senate race.

Mr. McCormick, who served in President George W. Bush’s Department of the Treasury, sought the Republican nomination for Senate in Pennsylvania in 2022 but lost to Mehmet Oz by less than 1,000 votes. Dr. Oz went on to lose to Senator Fetterman in the 2022 general election.

Now, after months of overtures from some in the GOP’s Senate campaign arm, it looks like Mr. McCormick is planning to again toss his hat in the ring, raising the question of who President Trump will endorse and whether talk about the GOP candidate’s residence will once again prove potent in the campaign. 

In 2022, Mr. Trump attacked Mr. McCormick in the press, calling him a “liberal Wall Street Republican” on CNN and insisting that “he’s not MAGA. David is totally controlled by Mitch McConnell.”

That year, Mr. Trump’s attacks and his endorsement of Dr. Oz appeared to win Dr. Oz the nomination. While Mr. Trump could theoretically choose to endorse Mr. McCormick this year, Mr. McCormick is the first Republican to announce in the race and there’s plenty of time for another candidate to run in the MAGA lane.

Who would run as a pro-Trump Republican is unclear. A Pennsylvania state senator, Doug Mastriano, passed on the opportunity to run after his failed bid for governor in 2022. Because of the lack of a Trump-backed candidate, Mr. McCormick is the only establishment-backed Senate candidate with a clear and, at the moment, uncontested path to the nomination in 2024.

While Mr. McCormick’s path is lining up to be easier than it was in 2022, the general election is looking to be somewhat of a reprisal of the 2024 election.

As the Associated Press reports, Mr. McCormick is known to reside on Connecticut’s so-called Gold Coast and, though he maintains a residence at Pittsburgh, state Democrats are already arguing that Mr. McCormick doesn’t really live in Pennsylvania.

In a recent release from the state Democratic Party, a party operative walked through the neighborhood at Pittsburgh where Mr. McCormick maintains a residence, asking neighbors if they had ever seen him. “Noted Connecticut resident David McCormick, alleged to be living in Squirrel Hill — nowhere to be seen,” the speaker says. 

This sort of meme-centered campaign helped propel Mr. Fetterman to victory in 2022, and it’s clear from early messaging that state Democrats are hoping to deploy it once again in 2024.

Still, Pennsylvania is a perennial battleground and a key state to win for either presidential candidate in 2024, meaning the winds of the national political environment will undoubtedly affect the race.

The New York Sun

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