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.”