Lancaster County Republican Brandi Tomasetti is challenging Dave McCormick for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination and the chance to take on three-term U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D) in November.
Tomasetti, the secretary-treasurer of Conestoga Township, announced her candidacy last week.
“I’m just a fed-up American,” she told DVJournal. “I’m not happy with the direction that the country is headed…It seemed like the best time, especially since the two people running have been lifetime politicians. And I don’t think that they’re good for the country.
“I don’t agree with them,” Tomasetti said. “And I think I can do a better job.”
McCormick lost the 2022 GOP Senate primary to TV Dr. Mehmet Oz, who then went on to defeat at the hands of Democrat John Fetterman. Many Pennsylvania Republicans expressed regret at not nominating McCormick, and he enjoys widespread support from the state GOP.
“We welcome [Tomasetti] to the race and look forward to winning the primary in April,” Elizabeth Gregory, McCormick’s communications director, told DVJournal. “Come November, Pennsylvanians will elect combat veteran, West Point graduate, and seventh-generation Pennsylvanian Dave McCormick to shake things up in Washington and put an end to Bob Casey’s ineffective 17-year career in the Senate.”
Tomasetti, who describes herself as an America First, anti-war advocate, is undettered by McCormick’s headstart.
In her campaign video, she accused McCormick of being a Republican in name only who is “unlikely to succeed” in Pennsylvania against Casey.
She took a shot at McCormick’s past as former CEO of Bridgewater by calling him “China Dave,” a line used by Oz during the 2022 primary.
Tomasetti said she didn’t know the ‘China Dave’ line came from Oz.
“He has been known to be a wealthy investor for China,” she said. “He’s also been quoted praising China, saying something along the lines of, ‘When China succeeds, the U.S. succeeds.’ I wholeheartedly disagree with that statement. I think it’s very clear what China is doing to the United States is wrong.
“Dave McCormick seems to be somebody who somewhat believes in a global economy,” she added. “I’m okay with a global economy to a certain extent, but I really support a strong localized American economy. And you go to the stores, and all of our stores are closing down. Everything’s cheaply made in China; you buy it online.”
McCormick has made confronting China a central part of his campaign. He has written a book (“Superpower in Peril”) laying out what he says is a strategy for American strength to confront China. And he has called China “the gravest threat” to U.S. security and well-being “since the end of World War II.”
Tomasetti’s complaints about McCormick extend beyond China. She took a page from Democratic attacks on McCormick’s residency. “He hasn’t been here. He doesn’t know what we’re going through here…I just really don’t respect the fact that he sells himself as a fifth-generation Pennsylvanian when he was just born here, and then his career took him elsewhere.”
McCormick has brushed aside previous residency criticisms by pointing out that he has a home in Pittsburgh and cast ballots in the Pittsburgh precinct in the 2022 primary and general elections.
He grew up in Bloomsburg, where his father was the former president of Bloomsburg University. After graduating from West Point and serving in the U.S. Army, McCormick started his financial career in Pittsburgh before joining President George W. Bush’s administration.
Tomasetti’s campaign video boasts of her Pennsylvania roots with a vow that she won’t leave.
Tomasetti said she cares deeply about healthcare reform and lowering costs. While pointing out that she doesn’t “believe in socialized medicine,” she argued that elected officials need to do something, including requiring cost transparency from doctors. “I have a feeling that the reason they’re not doing this is because they’re paid off.”
She advocated for more funding for the environment, saying America’s “water is toxic.
“There’s things in our water, there’s plastics in our water that are disruptive to women’s hormones,” Tomasetti said. “Women are having infertility problems because of all the chemicals in our environment. I just think that needs to be addressed, and I think we could do better.”
She donated to Donald Trump’s campaigns in 2016 and 2020 and said last year she was invited to private campaign events in Philadelphia and at Mar-a-Lago. She also publicly endorsed Trump on social media.
Tomasetti, 32, also said she wants to see more young people in public office. “There are no term limits,” she said. “These people stay in there forever, and they refer to the people in our Senate as dinosaurs. So, I’d really like to get some a fresh perspective in there.”
The primary is set for April 23.
Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or Facebook.com/DelawareValleyJournal