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PA GOP Blasts AP Story Targeting McCormick’s Residency

Pennsylvania Republicans are rallying around potential 2024 U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick after an Associated Press article raised questions about the Pittsburgh native’s residency in the state.

“I’ve been to Dave McCormick’s house in Pittsburgh,” said Charlie Gerow, a Republican political consultant with Quantum Communications. “It sure looked ‘lived in’ to me.

The article, which claimed McCormick “lives in Connecticut,” echoed a political attack used by Democrats against GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz last year. Oz lost to John Fetterman, despite the Democrat suffering a debilitating stroke during the campaign and still struggling to communicate.

The AP report claimed that “while McCormick does own a home in Pittsburgh, a review of public records, real estate listings, and footage from recent interviews indicates he still lives on Connecticut’s ‘Gold Coast,’ one of the densest concentrations of wealth in America.”

McCormick spokeswoman Elizabeth Gregory gave DVJournal a statement explaining that “he maintains a residence in Connecticut as his daughters finish high school.”

However, “Dave’s home is in Pittsburgh, and for the last 10 years he has owned a working farm in his hometown of Bloomsburg, which has been in the family for decades.”

“Dave has called Pennsylvania home for 30 years and served our country outside of Pennsylvania for an additional 13,” Gregory said. “It’s the place he mailed letters back to when he served in Iraq and where three of his daughters were born.”

McCormick, a former hedge fund manager, served in the first Gulf War, worked in the George W. Bush administration, and authored the book “Superpower in Peril.” He is widely viewed as a likely GOP challenger to Democrat Sen. Bob Casey, who is running for a fourth term in 2024.

During the 2022 GOP primary, McCormick told DVJournal he was inspired to run because of the Biden administration’s bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“Seeing Afghanistan play out just grabbed our attention and just shook us,” said McCormick, who is married to Trump administration national security advisor Dina Powell. “My wife has done a lot of public service, too. She’s an immigrant to this country. We both lived the American Dream. And when we saw that playing out — the humiliation, the embarrassment, and the lack of accountability — it just shook me.”

Pennsylvania Republicans rushed to McCormick’s defense.

Bucks County GOP Chair Pat Poprik called the premise of the AP article, that McCormick does not live in the commonwealth, “ridiculous.”

“Dave lives in Pennsylvania. Graduating from West Point, leading FreeMarkets in a key era for Pittsburgh, advising the president on key economic and national security policies — Dave’s leadership inside and outside Pennsylvania is what would make him such a great senator, and that’s not something to be belittled.”

GOP strategist Christopher Nicholas with Eagle Consulting Group took a swipe at Sen. John Fetterman, saying, “Democrats seem fascinated by geography rather than competency or qualifications.”

“McCormick grew up here, graduated from high school here, earned his West Point appointment here, was a cutting-edge job creator in Pittsburgh, and pays property taxes here,” said Nicholas.

“I think these are not real stories,” said Sam DeMarco, chairman of the Allegheny County Republican Caucus. “I think these things are just planted to try to give Casey, the Democrat, an avenue to attack somebody who’s been wildly successful at everything he’s ever done in life.”

He contrasted McCormick’s record to Casey’s.

“I don’t know where Bob Casey stays in Washington, D.C.,” DeMarco continued. Many people have more than one house, he said. Sometimes in Florida, at the shore, in the mountains. “This is just where our politics are today. (They) try to attack someone for their success.”

If you need a lawyer or a doctor, “you want the best,” said DeMarco. “So, why wouldn’t we want the very best candidate we can find?”

“Bob Casey has been in the Senate for (almost) 18 years,” DeMarco said. “And can you name a single piece of legislation with his name on it?”

Gerow said Democrats are just pulling pages out of last year’s playbook, but McCormick isn’t Dr. Oz.

“Dave McCormick has deep Pennsylvania roots and a story built on that foundation. The left may try — once again — to portray him as something else. It won’t work.”


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Casey Announces, GOP Pounces. Do Republicans See Path to Senate Majority Going Through PA?

The phrase “Republicans pounce” has become a punchline in GOP circles, mocking the media’s less-than-evenhanded political coverage. But in the case of the party’s reaction to Democrat U.S. Sen. Bob Casey’s re-election announcement, “pounce” appears to be the right word.

Within hours of Casey’s announcement Monday that he will seek a fourth term in 2024, the National Republican Senatorial Committee was in attack mode.

“From risking Pennsylvania workers’ pensions in Chinese state-run companies to using his Senate seat to enrich his family, Bob Casey has made a career of shady self-dealing and selling his voters out to the highest bidder,” said NRSC spokesman Philip Letsou.

On Tuesday, the NRSC was already up with an ad targeting Casey on social media.

“Bob Casey stopped putting Pennsylvanians first a long time ago,” Letsou said with the release of the NRSC’s ad.


The NRSC has been hammering Casey in the months leading up to his re-election announcement, accusing him of “betraying Pennsylvania farmers” and claiming that he “oversaw multi-million dollar investment from state pension fund into [a Chinese Communist Party]-linked company.”

Political observers say it could be a sign that the GOP believes the path to a new Republican Senate majority goes through Pennsylvania. The 2024 cycle includes several Senate Democrats running in states former President Donald Trump carried in 2020, most notably Sen. Joe Manchin in West Virginia and Sen. Jon Tester of Montana. However, both are popular incumbents who may be difficult to beat. Could Casey — a one-time moderate who has been out of step with his own party — offer an attractive target for a Republican Party that needs to net a two-seat pickup to win back the Senate?

The NRSC did not respond to a request for comment. However, Christopher Nicholas, a veteran Republican political consultant and the principal of Eagle Consulting Group, Inc., in Harrisburg, speculated that “the NRSC, like a lot of Republicans, is tired of losing.”

“They have come to the same conclusion that most people have, that the reason they lost some of these seats is because they did not have the best candidates available,” Nicholas said.

He pointed out Pennsylvania’s Senate elections are staggered back to back. “After this, we don’t have another one until 2028,” he said. “I think a lot of people here, especially on the GOP side, are even more committed to beating Casey since now we have two Democratic senators.”

By most measures, Casey looks well-positioned for the next election. He won two out of his three first-election contests with double-digit margins; he is the only Democratic senator to win an election three times in the state. This is the first time Democrats have controlled both of the state’s Senate seats since the 1940s.

National Republican operatives are doubtlessly hoping to patch their wounds from the bruising 2022 elections, which analysts had predicted would be a resounding Republican success but which ended up with Democrats vastly outperforming historical projections.

Among the most surprising upsets was the flipping of retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey’s seat, replaced by Democrat John Fetterman. Trump-backed candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz lost to Fetterman by five percentage points.

That victory helped Democrats secure an outright majority in the Senate, their first since 2015, and a pointed victory for President Joe Biden.

Pennsylvania is still considered a swing state by most analysts. A recent Commonwealth Foundation poll showed lopsided disapproval ratings for Biden in the state, potentially leaving Casey with the albatross of Biden’s record around his neck come November 2024.

At the same time, Pennsylvania Democratic strategist Mike Mikus told the Washington Examiner he believes Casey is a stronger candidate than some realize. “I think a lot of people forget that Sen. Casey tends to do a lot better than the average Democrat in many of the rural counties in Pennsylvania. He may not win them, but he does better than the average Democrat, and that’s where I think lies his greatest strength. He’s able to overperform in some pretty tough areas, in many areas that delivered Trump in 2016.”

Nicholas argued Casey “hasn’t spent one day on the campaign trail worried about whether he’s going to win or not.” He pointed to the historic Democratic cycles in 2006 and 2018, both of which saw Casey ride to victory.

He also noted Casey had drifted leftward since his start in national politics, transforming from “a pro-life, pro-gun Democrat” into a candidate much more in line with present Democratic orthodoxy. “Democrats have gotten over their queasiness with them,” he said.

Still, Nicholas said, a potentially bruising election contest with a popular candidate could lead to an upset next November.

“Because he’s never spent one day worrying, politically — does Casey have a glass jaw?” he said. “We don’t know.”

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