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McCormick Concedes Republican Senate Contest to Dr. Oz

Pennsylvania, welcome to the Land of Oz.

Friday, hedge fund CEO David McCormick conceded the Republican Senate primary to Dr. Mehmet Oz. Oz, the television star and cardiothoracic surgeon who had secured the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, is the Republican nominee and will face Democrat  Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in the fall.

Fewer than 1,000 votes separated Oz from McCormick and a state-mandated recount was underway. McCormick had also brought a successful court challenge to get undated ballots counted and had another one pending to have a hand recount in 12 counties.

“We spent the last 17 days making sure every Republican vote was counted,” McCormick said Friday evening. “But it’s now clear to me that with the recount largely complete, that we have a nominee. And today, I called Mehmet Oz to congratulate him on his victory.”

Dr. Oz welcomed the news.

“This evening, I received a gracious phone call from David McCormick and am tremendously grateful for his pledge of support in the fall election,” Oz said in a statement. “We share the goal of a brighter future for Pennsylvania and America. Now that our primary is over, we will make sure that this U.S. Senate seat does not fall into the hands of the radical left, led by John Fetterman. I look forward to campaigning in every corner of the Commonwealth for the next five months to earn the support of every Pennsylvanian.”

McCormick spoke to his supporters and posted the video on his Twitter feed, thanking them, his campaign team and his wife, Dina.

He promised to now lend his support to Oz’s campaign and help unite Republicans and Pennsylvanians behind his former rival.

“It’s so important that we beat John Fetterman and so important for the country that we take back the majority in the Senate in 2022,” said McCormick.

Fetterman welcomed the GOP nominee with a fundraising email mocking Oz.

“Did anyone predict that a quack celebrity TV doctor was going to run for U.S. Senate in 2022? You know, I wouldn’t believe you if you said you did. But here we are. Dr. Oz is now the *official* Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.

“There are a lot of bad things about Dr. Oz. He’s a self-funded multi-millionaire. He’s a fraudster who made a fortune by lying to people on TV. He called Roe v. Wade ‘wrong’ and supports an extreme total ban on abortions with no exceptions for rape or incest. And look…I never thought this would be a flex, but <checks notes> I actually live in Pennsylvania!!!”

Ironically, Fetterman’s attack on heart surgeon Oz comes as his campaign faces criticism over the candidate hiding his potentially life-threatening heart condition from Democratic primary voters.

“It’s not hard to understand what’s going on here,” said CNN political analyst Chris Cillizza. “Fetterman was the leading Democrat for the state’s open Senate seat. He didn’t want his health to be a top-of-mind issue when voters went to cast their ballots. So, he and his campaign downplayed the severity of his health issues.”

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GIORDANO: Do PA Republicans Want to Win? Here Are Three Things They Need to Do.

After being in the ring for months with all the candidates, countless surrogates, and many election officials, I have come to some clear conclusions about what needs to be done on the Republican side in races for the U.S. Senate and governor in Pennsylvania.

The first thing that needs to be fixed is the process for counting votes in Pennsylvania races. We have become the laughingstock of the nation. Urgency is not the watchword of the people in charge of counting votes in most counties. I realize that Pennsylvania Act 77, which paved the way for the mail-in ballot nonsense, needs to be repealed. I know that Josh Shapiro, the Democratic Party nominee for governor, would veto any attempt to rid us of this current cumbersome and possibly corrupt system.

So, we must allow counties to count mail-in ballots a few days before Election Day. But we should also tighten the deadlines that they face to get all votes counted. For example, the current deadline of getting votes counted in the recount vote process of June 7 for the May 17 primary is offensive.

Each day that goes by without a resolution weakens confidence in the validity of our elections.

Second, I believe it is time for Dave McCormick to drop all the lawsuits he has filed arguing that mail-in votes received without a date written on the envelope by the voter should be counted. I have grown to respect and like McCormick during our nearly weekly interviews over the course of the campaign. But his lawsuits following a Commonwealth court’s ruling saying that mail-in ballots without a date should be counted are playing right into the hands of people like national Democratic lawyer Marc Elias who are trying to weaken any restrictions on the counting of mail-in ballots.

I understand McCormick fought a very hard race against Dr. Oz and spent probably $10 to $12 million of his own money, but the recount should be his last action in this election. I’d like to see him named chairman of the Pennsylvania GOP and I’d like to see him become the nominee for the upcoming Senate race against Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. I believe Casey has essentially coasted on the family name and is very beatable.

It is also clear to me that election integrity is a critical issue with Pennsylvania voters. However, I don’t think the Republican nominee for governor state Sen. Doug Mastriano, is approaching it in the right way. His rantings about voting machine conspiracies and his suggestion that as governor he could overturn election results in the 2024 presidential race are not a statewide winning strategy. I like that he is talking about the importance of the Secretary of State’s Office in running elections and I’d like to hear him flesh out the types of people that he would consider for the office.

I’d also like to see Mastriano engage with more media outlets rather than just that small number that seem to amplify some of his more radical views. He refuses to come on my show–and much of talk radio in the state–apparently because he can’t any kind of challenge even from conservative hosts.

His decision to hang up the phone during an interview with DelawareValleyJournal.com is a prime example of a strategy that will fail.

The bottom line is I think Dr. Oz is the presumptive Republican nominee for the Senate and I think he can beat John Fetterman. Doug Mastriano can beat Josh Shapiro, but he must make some big–but doable–changes.

 

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McCormick v. Oz Court Battle Continues As U.S. Supreme Court Intervenes

Commonwealth Court President Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer listened to hours of arguments Tuesday on a petition brought by the David McCormick Senate campaign to permit mail-in and absentee ballots without a voter-written date on the envelope to count.

Jubelirer did not issue a ruling but promised that she would rule soon, although it’s likely the Supreme Court will have the last word.

McCormick, a hedge fund CEO, and Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celebrity heart surgeon, are in a razor-thin Republican primary election contest with fewer than 1,000 votes separating them. However, Oz has already declared himself the presumptive nominee who will face Democrat John Fetterman in the fall.

The close race automatically triggered a statewide recount that is underway and must be completed by June 8.

Meanwhile, a senior McCormick campaign staffer said the campaign would request a hand recount for 12 counties: Allegheny, York, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Erie, Lancaster, Monroe, Schuylkill, Delaware, Bucks, and Westmoreland.

Those counties are “outliers” with undervotes and overvotes that “fall outside the norm.” Ballotpedia defines undervotes as “when the number of choices selected by a voter in an election is less than the maximum number allowed for that election.” Overvotes are when voters cast more votes in a contest than is allowed.

“We’re going to understand with a hand-recount where any abnormalities exist,” he said. “And actually have a receipt that we can trust and verify, that I can take to my client and say, ‘These are the results.’”

They want to run hand-recount to run concurrently with the state-required recount.

“We want Republican primary voters to know they have a winner, whether it’s by one vote or a 1,000 votes, so we can all get behind the nominee and beat Fetterman in the fall,” McCormick said. “It’s just transparency. There’s an enormous lack of it.”

“We dropped from 33,000 absentee ballots outstanding to 17,000 overnight,” he said. “And there were only 1,100 votes added to the Department of State website. We’ve gone day after day after day with no reconciliation between the vote count and the vote tally.”

“And obviously, we’re winning absentees by a very big margin,” he added.

In the courtroom, McCormick’s lawyers Ron Hicks and Charles Cooper argued a federal court ruling permitting undated ballots to be counted trumps state law that requires it. However, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito issued a stay late Tuesday afternoon on that 3rd Circuit opinion, likely throwing a wrench into McCormick’s arguments.

Hicks noted Lehigh and Sullivan Counties had already included those ballots in their totals. As of Tuesday morning, 819 undated ballots were discovered, but he believes there will be more.

“These ballots matter,” Hicks said. “Clearly, this is sufficient basis for equitable relief.”

“All citizens should be allowed to vote in all elections,” said Cooper. The lack of dates on the ballots is “immaterial,” he said.

Pennsylvania Chief Deputy Attorney General Michael Fisher agreed with the McCormick camp.

However, John Gore, a lawyer representing Oz, said McCormick’s lawyers had not made their case. And even if more ballots were found, it was “not possible to overtake Dr. Oz” since some of those ballots would be for Oz and he starts with a lead of more than 900 votes.

The Republican Party is siding with Oz.

Dr. Mehmet Oz

“The law in Pennsylvania is quite clear. These undated ballots should not be counted,” said attorney Thomas King III, arguing on behalf of the Republican National Committee and the state GOP.  He said the state legislature had set the undated ballot policy and it should be upheld. To rule otherwise, the court would be taking power from the legislature, which would be “not only wrong but foolhardy.”

In his rebuttal, Cooper called his adversary’s arguments “meritless.”

As for harm to his client, “we don’t know what the gap is” since not all the votes were counted yet. He asked the court “at a minimum” to order the counties to comply with the order from the secretary of state to sequester the undated ballots. “We think it’s clear right now. It may well make a difference. These votes should be counted as a matter of law.”

Cooper asked the judge “to not disenfranchise voters.”

“The object of the election code is to allow good Pennsylvanians to vote in elections,” he said.

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SKLAROFF: Act 77 Can And Should Be Trashed

Election Integrity activists have led the attack on Pennsylvania’s current voting law and, specifically, they want its validation of no-excuse absentee ballots to be eliminated.

Regardless as to whether Senate candiate Dave McCormick’s electoral challenge will salvage his political effort after a recount, his lawsuit must be supported, for it provides a shortcut to kill Act 77.

In January, the Commonwealth Court ruled Act 77 was unconstitutional, reasoning that I vigorously supported.

Yet, this issue is stuck in the PA Supreme Court, probably due to “politics” because its Democrat-majority can’t discern a cognizable method to refute these analyses.

Recently, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it’s “immaterial” that the outside envelope of an absentee ballot be dated; its timely return could easily be validated by noting the postmark and confirming the date when it had been received by the county election officials.

This mandate is in Act 77:  “Section 1306.  Voting by Absentee Electors.–(a)  … The elector shall then fill out, date and sign the declaration printed on such envelope.”

Pivotal is its non-severability clause:  “Section 11. … If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remaining provisions or applications of this act are void.”

Litigating this via the federal court precludes the ability of the Pennsylvania Supremes to be dilatory when faced with an obvious glitch in the law; it’s doubtful that the SCOTUS would intervene when the lower court had already ruled.

This is black-letter language that seemingly provides no legal wiggle-room. Thus, dumping Act 77 “ab initio” [from the date when it was signed] would invalidate non-excuse absentee voting.

Some people enjoy the convenience of mail-in voting, but they ignore the traditional reasons for functioning as citizens and the unnecessary introduction of fraud in the absence of voter/photo-ID.

This has been the cause célèbre of electoral reform advocates, for it carries profound implications.

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GOP Senate Recount Underway Amid Legal Challenges From McCormick

With fewer than 1,000 votes separating them, the close primary election between Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick for the open U.S. Senate seat is going into a recount.

Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman announced the recount Wednesday afternoon. It was triggered by the 0.5 percent margin between the two candidates’ vote totals and must be completed by June 7.

Unofficial returns showed Oz with 419,365 votes or 31.21 percent and McCormick at 418,463 or 31.14 percent.

McCormick also filed a lawsuit asking the state Supreme Court to permit mail-in ballots without a date written on them by the voter to be counted. Chapman told county election offices to set those ballots aside to await the court’s decision.

But McCormick’s move garnered swift pushback from state and national Republican Party officials.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, said via Twitter: “Both Republican candidates in Pennsylvania would be fantastic senators. The RNC is committed to election integrity and election laws must be followed. We’re intervening in a Pennsylvania legal battle alongside the @PAGOP to ensure just that.”

RNC Chief Counsel Matt Raymer said, “The RNC is intervening in this lawsuit alongside the Pennsylvania GOP because election laws are meant to be followed, and changing the rules when ballots are already being counted harms the integrity of our elections. Either of Pennsylvania’s leading Republican Senate candidates would represent the Keystone State better than a Democrat, but Pennsylvania law is clear that undated absentee ballots may not be counted. This is another example of the RNC’s ironclad commitment to ensuring that the highest standards of transparency and security are upheld throughout the election process.”

And conservative radio talk host Dom Giordano told the Delaware Valley Journal podcast he thinks McCormick’s decision to go to court is a mistake. He believes McCormick should “take one for the team” and emerge as the GOP’s nominee to take on state Sen. Bob Casey (D) in 2024.

“I like McCormick, and to spend all that money and lose by so few votes — I get it. If your attorney says there’s another avenue, you do it,” Giordano said. “Once it becomes apparent where we are, he [McCormick] should be aware that Casey is viewed as very vulnerable, and he’d have the entire GOP behind him.”

As of Wednesday night, however, the McCormick campaign was pressing ahead. Spokesperson Jess Szymanski said the litigation the campaign filed was to require counties to adhere to a recent ruling by the “Republican-leaning Third Circuit Court to count Republican ballots signed by a voter, received and timestamped by 8 p.m. on Election Day. These ‘undated’ ballots are in fact dated because they’re timestamped and proven to have arrived on time,” she said.

“Once we have counted all Republican votes received on time, we will unite behind a strong GOP nominee to defeat socialist John Fetterman in the fall. All Republicans should be focused on that goal.”

The McCormick campaign believes the state Supreme Court will decide whether to hear its appeal by the close of business Thursday, Szymanski said.

Dave McCormick said via Twitter, “We are proud our campaign received nearly 418,000 votes, won 37 of 67 counties, and contributed to a historic turnout with a razor-thin difference between myself and Mehmet Oz. This narrow difference triggers an automatic recount and we look forward to a swift resolution so our party can unite to defeat socialist John Fetterman in the fall.”

Lawrence Tabas, chair of the Pennsylvania Republican Party says he believes either Republican will defeat Fetterman in the general election.

“We look forward to working with whoever is the nominee, once the primary results are certified,” Tabas said.

 

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BREAKING: Senate Candidate McCormick Files Suit To Count Undated Ballots

Republican Senate candidate David McCormick has filed a petition in Commonwealth Court to make sure that all undated ballots received were on time are counted in counties that are, so far, refusing to count them. It’s just the latest drama in a primary season featuring nonstop negative RINO ads and one of the Democratic candidates hospitalized shortly before Election Day.

A May 20 ruling by a federal appeals court that permitted mail-in ballots in Lehigh County to be counted despite not having the required date on the exterior of the ballot opened the door for McCormick’s petition.

McCormick, a hedge fund CEO, and celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz are in a statistical tie in the Republican primary to be the party’s nominee to run against Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in the fall, and their contest is headed toward a recount.

“Both the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit have held that mail-in ballots should not be disqualified simply because the voters failed to handwrite a date on the exterior mailing envelope of their ballots,” said McCormick’s chief legal counsel Chuck Cooper. “Because all ballots are time-stamped by the County Boards of Elections on receipt, a voter’s handwritten date is meaningless. All timely ballots of qualified Republican voters should be counted.”

Jess Szymanski, a spokeswoman for the McCormick campaign, added, “Every Republican primary vote should be counted, including the votes of Pennsylvania’s active-duty military members who risk their lives to defend our constitutional right to vote. When every Republican vote is counted, Dave looks forward to uniting the party and defeating socialist John Fetterman in the fall.”

Previously, Oz filed a challenge to Philadelphia Republican voters’ provisional ballots being counted.

“The Board’s only basis for disenfranchising these voters is a technical error that is immaterial under both state and federal law. A plurality of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has already held that the Commonwealth’s Election Code—which “must be liberally construed so as not to deprive . . . the voters of their right to elect a candidate of their choice”—”does not require boards of elections to disqualify mail-in or absentee ballots submitted by qualified electors who signed the declaration on their ballot’s outer envelope but did not handwrite . . . [the] date, where no fraud or irregularity has been alleged,” the suit said.

“By refusing to count absentee and mail-in ballots based solely on the lack of a handwritten date in the declaration section of the exterior mailing envelope, the Boards are depriving likely thousands of voters of the right to vote that (the law) explicitly preserved,” the suit stated. “These ballots were indisputably returned on time. Whether or not a voter remembered to write a date on the mailing envelope is entirely immaterial to whether that voter’ “is qualified under State law to vote’… Just as there is no basis on this record [for the Boards] to refuse to count undated ballots.”

Meanwhile, Casey Contres, Oz’s campaign manager, responded with a tweet, saying that while McCormick had a been a “formidable opponent,” he was going to come up short and was “following the Democrats’ playbook” by filing the suit, which “could have long-term harmful consequences” to elections in Pennsylvania.

But if Oz is the nominee, he would “appreciate” McCormick’s support in defeating “extreme liberal socialist” Fetterman.

In addition to the counties, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Leigh Chapman, who oversees elections, was also named a defendant in the suit.

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PA Voters Picking Candidates For U.S. Senate

Pennslyvania’s hotly-contested U.S. Senate race has gotten notice from pundits around the country, but the final decision will be up to voters in places like the Delaware Valley.

The Senate race in particular has gained national attention because the body is now divided 50/50 for each party, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie votes for Democrats.

In the Republican Senate race, which for months appeared to be a duel between Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick, a hedge fund CEO, a third candidate broke through into striking distance of winning: Kathy Barnette, an author and conservative commentator.

Dr. Mehmet Oz

The Emerson College poll released over the weekend, showed Oz at 28 percent support, followed by Barnette with 24 percent, and McCormick with 21 percent. However, 15 percent were undecided. Those voters were asked who they are leaning towards. With their support allocated, Oz jumped to 32 percent, followed by Barnette with 27 percent and McCormick with 26 percent. Since last month’s Pennsylvania GOP poll, Oz gained 10 points, Barnette has gained 12 points and McCormick has lost two points.

Jim Geraghty, senior political correspondent for the National Review told the Delaware Valley Journal podcast that it may have been Trump’s endorsement of Oz that opened the door for Barnette to surge.

“A lot of Trump fans are like ‘Er, no,’” said Geraghty. The “Mehmet Oz endorsement is a bridge too far for Trump’s base…The Trump endorsement clearly has a limit to it.”

However, now that Barnette is gaining traction, she’s also become a target. Oz and McCormick have been duking it out with attack ads on the airwaves for months.

“The knives are out,” she told Delaware Valley Journal in a recent interview. “They are scared and mad.” Oz and McCormick have spent many millions more on their campaigns than her paltry $1.7 million. Although she recently attracted a deep-pocketed PAC, the Club for Growth, that is also running ads on her behalf.

Meanwhile,  the other candidates are also campaigning nonstop across the state.

“Dr. Oz is in a position to win because he’s the only conservative outsider in this race,” said Casey Contres, campaign manager. “President Trump endorsed Dr. Oz because he knows that Pennsylvanians want someone that will fight back at the woke mob and put forth solutions that will get the government out of their way.”

Rep. Craig Williams and Dave McCormick, Republican Senate candidate.

McCormick said, “I’m a battle-tested conservative, Army veteran, successful businessman, and Pennsylvania job creator who knows what it takes to revive our economy, restore our conservative values, secure our border, and solve the problems facing Pennsylvanians.”

He called his opponents “unqualified and concerning.”

Others running on the Republican side include Montgomery County developer Jeff Bartos, former ambassador Carla Sands, and Sean Gale and George Bochetto, both lawyers—all poll at single digits.

The Democrat candidates have also seen some drama also in recent days, but for a different reason. Frontrunner Lt. Gov. John Fetterman suffered a stroke but he is expected to be recover. Also, running for Senate are Congressman Conor Lamb and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta.

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Barnette Is In The Fight of Her Political Life as Primary Day Nears

Kathy Barnette is in the fight for her political life. And she knows it.

“The knives are out,” she told Delaware Valley Journal Friday. “They are scared and mad.”

Since advancing into a three-way tie in the GOP’s U.S. Senate primary, the Huntington Valley resident has been the target of a barrage of negative attacks and commentary. An article in the Washington Examiner that asked who Barnette was unleashed a floodgate of what her GOP critics call “vetting.”

In response, Barnette took to local radio to answer questions about her hometown in Alabama, her military experience, and her previous employment. She even posted pictures of her military discharge papers on Twitter.

An author and conservative commentator, Barnette is active in the pro-life movement and homeschooled her two children.

She has also made controversial statements in the past that some Republicans fear could cost the party a winnable Senate seat in November’s general election. They point to articles she wrote attacking what she called “the homosexual AGENDA,” and tweets many consider Islamophobic — including calls to ban Islam from the United States and suggesting that former President Barack Obama was a Muslim.

In response, Barnette pointed out the Muslim-related tweets were from 2015 or 2016, at a time when Obama allowed large numbers of Syrian refugees into the country.  She said the FBI director acknowledged there was no way to determine the background or views of those refugees.

“I am not against Muslims or any individual,” she said.  “I am against radical Islamic terrorism. Clearly, not all Muslims are radical.”

Her critics took short tweets where “clearly not all the thoughts are complete sentences, taking half of what is being written and adding a narrative,” said Barnette.

As for tweets that seemed homophobic or against transsexuals, Barnette said those were also not “whole thoughts.” However, she said, she is against teaching young children in kindergarten through third grade about sexual matters and she opposes girls competing in sports against biological males.

“They are just taking a portion of what I said,” Barnette added. “I would never be cruel to anyone.”

She is particularly incensed that Fox radio and television host Sean Hannity has joined the attacks. He interviewed her either on radio or television about seven times, she said, and never asked her about her military record. But now that Hannity is supporting Dr. Mehmet Oz, he is attacking her, she said.

“His horse in the race is not going to win, so he’s going after me,” Barnette said.

Hannity could not immediately be reached for comment.

Barnette also pushed back on heavily-edited videos claiming to show she is a racist who does not like White people and that she supports the Black Lives Matter organization. She says the opposite is true.

“I am hiding nothing,” said Barnette, who noted she has been campaigning for 13 months for the nomination to the Senate and during that time she was largely ignored by much of the media. She also ran for Congress in 2020.

What changed is that she is now in a statistical dead heat with Oz and Dave McCormick, a hedge fund CEO. Both men have spent millions on the race, and their Super PACs have spent even more running attack ads, according to Barnette.

“They are scared and mad,” said Barnette. “They spent over $60 million.” Oz and McCormick, who Barnette refers to as “carpetbaggers” who moved to Pennsylvania from other states to run for office, participated in very few debates or forums while she has traveled the state attending all of them.

Barnette, who is running as an outspoken Trump supporter, was hit with one of the former president’s now-infamous anti-endorsements on Thursday. “Kathy Barnette will never be able to win the General Election against the Radical Left Democrats.”

“She has many things in her past, which have not been properly explained or vetted, but if she is able to do so, she will have a wonderful future in the Republican Party—and I will be behind her all the way,” Trump said.

“I don’t expect (Trump) to retract his endorsement of Oz,” said Barnette. And her response to Trump’s statement?

“I look forward to working with the president come Wednesday,” she said.

And Barnette has since picked up the endorsements of the Club for Growth and the Susan B. Anthony List, two major players in Republican politics.

As for Oz and McCormick, “I chose to focus on Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanians and they chose to focus on each other,” she said.

“This is politics,” said Barnette about the last-minute attacks against her. “This is the reason why good people don’t go into politics. Look at what they’re doing.”

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Would Barnette’s Pro-Life Views Help or Hurt Her in November?

With Kathy Barnette now in second place in two recent polls of Pennsylvania Republican voters for the U.S. Senate race, would her strict, no exceptions stand on abortion be a hindrance in the general election?

Both Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is in the lead, and Dave McCormick, the hedge fund CEO who is in third place, are also pro-life but would make an exception for the life of the mother.

And at the other end of the spectrum, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is the likely Democratic nominee, wants to guarantee a woman’s right to choose all the way through the ninth month of pregnancy. Indeed, Fetterman has called the right to an abortion “sacred” and would do away with the Senate filibuster to pass a pro-abortion law.

“Let’s be clear: The right to an abortion is sacred,” Fetterman tweeted. “Democrats have to act quickly – get rid of the filibuster to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act + finally codify Roe into law. We cannot afford to wait.”

Abortion has dominated the headlines lately because of a leaked draft of a pending U.S. Supreme Court decision that would likely overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that found women had a right to an abortion. If the high court does reverse Roe, it would throw the issue back to the state legislatures to decide.

 

Temple University Political Science Department Chair Robin Kolodny said that the polls’ margin of error shows a “statistical dead heat” between Barnette, Oz, and McCormick.

A Real Clear Politics has Oz at 25, Barnette at 23, and McCormick at 22. A Trafalgar Group poll shows Oz at 24.5, Barnette at 23.2, and McCormick at 21.6.

“As with so much in elections, the winner will be the one who mobilizes best over the next week. This is generally a lot harder in midterm years,” said Kolodny.

“However, since she has been campaigning with (gubernatorial candidate) Doug Mastriano and his lead is much more commanding, that could help her,” said Kolodny. “I don’t think her stance on abortion is going to be that much different from the Republican nominee’s position, so I don’t think this would be a particular concern in the fall campaign should she get the nomination. Whatever candidate gets the nomination should expect everything in their record to be fair game. We know less about Barnette than the other two front runners, so who knows?”

“If Barnette was to win the nomination her position on abortion would be a drag on her chances,” said Christopher Borick, professor of political science and director of Muhlenberg College’s Institute of Public Opinion. “In terms of public opinion, her abortion stance is not shared by a large majority of voters in Pennsylvania. The issue could tip a portion of swing voters away from her, and bring some Democratic-leaning voters to the polls who otherwise may not be energized in this cycle.”

Barnette’s life story is the basis of her pro-life beliefs.

Her mother was 11 years old when she was raped leading to Barnette’s birth.

“I’m the byproduct of rape,” Barnette tweeted. “My mother was 11 when I was conceived. In the world the left desires, I would never have been born. We need leaders with a steady hand to direct our nation through these difficult discussions.”

And this, Pennsylvania political insiders tell DVJournal, is the wildcard. “How does Fetterman attack her on abortion when she has a personal story like that,” one political operative who declined to speak on the record said. “She’s a Black woman who has the abortion issue as part of her biography. Fetterman’s a big, bald White guy who’s already got an issue with Black voters. How does he handle this in a debate without looking bad?”

In 2013, Fetterman chased a Black jogger and pulled a shotgun, mistakenly believing the man had been involved in a shooting.

Tom Stevens, president of the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia, also believes her views will help Barnette in the general election.

“It will help, rather than hurt Kathy Barnette in the general election,” Stevens said.  “Most of Pennsylvania does not believe that abortion is ‘sacred,’ although many think abortion should be limited but legal.   Kathy is a strong candidate, and as people vote on the other issues, her platform will carry her.”
Kathy’s own story of having a mom who was raped and despite it kept her pregnancy and gave birth to Kathy is a testament to the power of pro life conviction in the face of extremely difficult circumstances.  Kathy has said that if she had been aborted, her own children would not have been born, and all her achievements would not have been reached.

Barnette, an author and Fox News commentator, has talked extensively about her life from a childhood of poverty, serving 10 years in the Army Reserve, completing college, and then working in finance.

A Huntingdon Valley resident, she is married with two children. In 2020, Barnette ran for Congress against incumbent Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery).

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Rep. Craig Williams Campaigns With Senate Candidate Dave McCormick

Republican state Rep. Craig Williams teamed up with U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick to knock on doors Saturday in the Garnet Valley neighborhood of Chadds Ford.

Williams said he enjoys meeting his constituents in person and typically knocks on more than 2,000 doors during his campaigns.

“My favorite part (of campaigning) is knocking on doors,” said Williams.

McCormick also enjoys talking to potential voters and has made in-person campaigning, whether knocking on doors or pressing the flesh in diners and American Legion halls, a trademark of his campaign.

Rep. Williams and Dave McCormick, along with volunteers pose with a Harley Davidson motorcycle. A TV commercial shows McCormick riding his Harley Davidson Fat Boy. And when the weather is nice, he often rides it around Pittsburgh.

“I love it, I mean, I love it,” said McCormick. “If you knock on 10 doors and talk to one or two people, you get the connection.”

McCormick likes to hear voters’ opinions, telling him what they like or hate.

“It’s perfect,” he said. “I love it. I love being with (Williams). He’s a great guy. This is a great part of Pennsylvania that I need to spend more time in. I’m really devoted to spending time here in the southeast. It makes sure my message is out there.”

And it was a family affair, with McCormick’s wife, Dina Powell McCormick, who was a deputy national security advisor to former President Donald Trump, accompanying him and Williams’ 12-year-old son, Cole, also along, as well as campaign volunteers and staff.

McCormick, who is vying for the lead in the Republican Senate primary race with television celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz and commentator Kathy Barnette, also has ads blanketing television screens, either from his campaign or a Super PAC that supports him. A former hedge fund CEO, he comes across as a down-to-earth, regular guy.

“I hope to get your vote,” he says to homeowners after a brief exchange and introduction from Williams, who has an app that tells him which houses belong to registered Republicans. Only Republicans or Democrats can vote for their respective candidates in the May 17 primary.

“We’re still really undecided,” homeowner George Kent, told the Delaware Valley Journal after shaking hands with Williams and McCormick and listening to their pitches.

Dina Powell McCormick, Cole Williams, Rep. Craig Williams and Dave McCormick.

His wife, Debbi Kent, said, “He keeps saying, ‘the stakes are high,’ and we agree. We want the best person in the Senate, and I was very unhappy (with Sen. Pat Toomey). I want to learn more.”

She was “surprised but appreciative” that McCormick came to her door. “That shows he’s serious and wants to meet the people.”

Another resident, Joe Dailey, said that he was from Bloomsburg but did not know McCormick, who went to high school there when his dad was president of Bloomsburg University and chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.  The family also owns a Christmas tree farm nearby that has been featured in McCormick’s TV commercials.

McCormick, 56, graduated from West Point, where he was on the wrestling team and served in the first Gulf War with the 82nd Airborne. He also served in several positions in the George W. Bush administration, including as Under Secretary of the Treasury, and he holds a Ph.D. in international relations from Princeton. In the private sector, McCormick was CEO of a software company in Pittsburgh and most recently held the CEO post at Bridgewater Associates.

During a talk at a VFW Post in Bensalem, McCormick said the Biden administration’s botched handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal led to his decision to run for the Senate.

“I’ve seen his ads,” said Dailey. “I’m a big fan of his. I like what he has to say. And Craig (Williams) is the best guy we’ve ever had here. Good luck to you guys. I will vote for you.”

Williams (R-Chadds Ford) also served in the military. He spent three decades in the Marines, retiring as a colonel.  The two candidates bantered about which of their rival branches of the service was best as they walked the neighborhood.

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