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McCormick Checks In at Geno’s, McCormick and Casey Rake in Campaign Cash

If you’re running for office in Pennsylvania, you need to stop in South Philadelphia for a cheesesteak and to schmooze with the locals.

Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick checked that box last week when he visited Geno’s Steaks accompanied by some Republican heavyweights.

In addition to talking with supporters, McCormick put on an apron and fried some steak.

“This campaign is all about connecting with Pennsylvanians in every corner of our great commonwealth. Our stop at Geno’s, a Philadelphia institution that makes a great cheesesteak, was a fun opportunity to meet with voters and even hop behind the counter to test our skills on the grill. I’m grateful for the support of two great public servants, former Sens. Pat Toomey and Rick Santorum, who understand what it takes to deliver results for Pennsylvania,” said McCormick.

McCormick had his cheesesteak “wiz wit.”

Dave McCormick (right) with former Sen. Pat Toomey (center) and a supporter.

Earlier Wednesday, McCormick held a rally in Shavertown, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre area with Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Santorum. Then, they hopped on McCormick’s campaign bus and headed to Philadelphia, where Toomey joined them.

Daines chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

House Republicans have also been jumping on the McCormick bandwagon, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who, like McCormick, is a former wrestler. Jordan told Punchbowl News, “McCormick’s a great candidate and a wrestling guy. We want to do some things with the wrestling community in Pennsylvania because it’s so strong. It’s the biggest wrestling state in the country.”

Jordan plans to hold a fundraiser for McCormick later this month.

McCormick said previously he is “honored to receive the endorsement of fellow former wrestler Jim Jordan. Jim is a fearless leader in Congress, and I’m grateful for his support.” He also referenced “the toughness, resilience, and leadership [they all] learned on the mat… I’m proud to share a common bond and passion for our sport.”

McCormick wrestled in high school in Bloomsburg and in college at West Point. He’s even airing a commercial about it.

Both Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), McCormick’s general election opponent, and McCormick have full campaign coffers. McCormick’s campaign posted $6.2 million in the first quarter of 2024, including $1 million of his own money. Prior to entering politics, McCormick was a successful businessman.

“Pennsylvanians from across the commonwealth are joining the movement to elect Dave McCormick, a seventh-generation Pennsylvanian, combat veteran, and Pennsylvania job creator who will bring new leadership and fresh ideas to the Senate. Career politician Bob Casey has voted for Joe Biden’s failing agenda 98 percent of the time, fueling a border crisis that has killed over 4,000 Pennsylvanians from fentanyl, violent crime, record inflation, and regulations that are killing the commonwealth’s energy sector,” said McCormick communications director Elizabeth Gregory. “Dave is exactly the kind of candidate who can beat Bob Casey, secure a Senate majority, and get this country back on track.”

Casey, who has also released campaign ads, raised $5.6 million in the first quarter. The Democrat is running for his fourth term.

“Our record-breaking fundraising reflects the momentum and motivation behind Senator Casey’s re-election campaign,” said Tiernan Donohue, campaign manager for Bob Casey for Senate. “Sen. Casey’s supporters across the commonwealth know he is facing the most competitive and expensive race of his career, and they are standing together to make sure we have the resources we need to keep this seat.”

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Ahead of 2024 GOP Launches ‘Bank Your Vote’

The Republican Party is going “full forward on a mail-in ballot strategy,” said Pennsylvania GOP Chair Lawrence Tabas.

The DVJournal asked Tabas how he would convince Republican voters to vote by mail since, for several years, they tended to vote on Election Day unless they needed an absentee ballot.

“We have developed a task force,” said Tabas. “We’re working very strongly now on educating our voters as to the benefits of voting by mail. We’ll be working with the RNC on this, and I am very confident that you will see a much larger vote by Republicans supporting our candidates this year and next year.”

In 2021 the Republicans increased mail-in ballots at a higher rate than Democrats, he said.

In a June 7 press call, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the Bank Your Vote Campaign is a nationwide effort.

“We all know, we’re all very aware, we no longer have an Election Day, we have an election season,” said McDaniel. “Many, many states have weeks and weeks of early voting.  Bank Your Vote will make sure Republicans take advantage of that.”

In Pennsylvania, mail-in ballots are mailed out to voters 30 days before an election.

McDaniel said she wants to raise awareness among GOP voters well before 2024 that they can “lock in their votes as early as possible.”

“We’ve got to double down,” said McDaniel. “We’ve got to educate our voters. I think of it this way. We have some voters that like to vote on Election Day. We have to explain to them we can’t allow Democrats to get a head start.”

“Why are you going to wait until the fourth quarter to score a touchdown when you have four quarters to put points on the board? That’s what this whole initiate is about, and we’re going to lead the charge in getting Republicans to chase ballots and build an advantage before Election Day.”

After 2020 voters were “skittish,” she said.  “They needed to know their vote would be protected. That’s why we recruited 80,000 poll watchers and poll workers.”

They also filed 100 election integrity lawsuits in the 2022 cycle.  She wants voters to know that “if they vote early, their vote will be protected.”

She said they will have workers on the ground, going door-to-door, as well as digital teams. They will target younger voters on social media.

“We will protect the House, flip the Senate and make Joe Biden a one-term president,” said McDaniel.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and tasked with electing and re-electing senators, said, “If we learned one thing in the last election cycle, 2022, it’s we need to turn Election Day into Election Month.”

“The Democrats outraised us financially in past cycles,” he said. “What they’ve also done is dominated in early and mail-in voting.”

Sen. Bill Haggerty (R-Tenn.) said. At the same time, Republicans have a “great map,” with three Democrats running in red states, an unpopular president, and an open border “that’s fueling a drug overdose epidemic.”

“We’ve got an energy policy that is absolutely absurd, making America less competitive rather than more so,” he said. “We’ve got an economy that’s dealing with inflation at record levels.” And numerous foreign policy challenges around the world. But they can’t take these advantages for granted.

“We have got to bank our votes early.   We have a great opportunity to vote… A friend said, ‘You don’t want to put off buying that Christmas present until Christmas Day.’”

And Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said they are “focused on keeping House majority and growing it.”

They plan to recruit “strong candidates” and run “strong campaigns,” giving those candidates the “resources they need to win.”

Guy Ciarrocchi, the former chair of the Chester County Chamber of Commerce who ran for governor last year, wrote an op-ed in 2021 telling fellow Republicans to embrace mail-in ballots.

“Unilateral disarmament has never been an effective winning strategy,” said Ciarrocchi on Friday. “Conservatives are duty-bound to learn how to successfully execute a mail-in vote effort; otherwise, we risk losing races—no matter how effective our Election-Day strategy is.”

Jake Zane, spokesman for the Delaware County Republican Party, said Chairman Frank Agovino’s first step as a new chair was to form a committee on mail-in ballots.

“And that committee issued a report,” said Zane. “We’re moving forward with a plan to boost Republican turnout with a mail-in ballot effort through the hard work of our committee and robust digital efforts.”