It’s take two for Dave McCormick in battleground Pennsylvania.
McCormick, a former hedge fund executive, West Point graduate, Gulf War combat veteran and Treasury Department official in former President George W. Bush’s administration, on Thursday launched his second straight campaign for the Senate.
His announcement gives national and state Republicans a high-profile candidate with the ability to self finance. McCormick had been courted to run against longtime Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. — a race that could ultimately decide whether the GOP wins back the Senate majority in 2024.
“I have total faith and confidence in the people of Pennsylvania,” McCormick said, but he stressed the need for leadership in Washington, D.C. “That is why today, I am announcing my candidacy for the United States Senate,” McCormick said as he launched his Senate bid at Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh.
Asked why he was running again for the Senate, McCormick said in an interview with Fox News Digital that “the motivation is the same in the sense that I really feel that the country’s headed in the wrong direction.”
“Whether it’s the immigration crisis or the economy or record high inflation, whether it’s the war on our domestic energy sector, I think the need to get great leaders into public life who can really make a difference and be independent and try to break the gridlock in Washington, which is failing us, is key,” he said.
And McCormick took aim at Casey, tying the three-term Democratic senator and son of a popular former Pennsylvania governor to President Biden, whose approval ratings remain well in negative territory.
“Bob Casey is an 18-year senator. He’s been in politics 30 years and really hasn’t accomplished very much at all. He’s been a rubber-stamp for Joe Biden. He’s voted for Joe Biden 98% of the time,” McCormick said. “If I can win this seat, I can really be a force for good in pushing back on Joe Biden’s policies.”
Casey, who served a decade as the state’s auditor general and then treasurer before winning election to the Senate in 2006, is not expected to face any serious primary challenge for the Democratic nomination.
McCormick may escape a crowded and combustible battle for the 2024 GOP Senate nomination similar to the one he faced last year. McCormick ended up losing the nomination by a razor-thin margin to celebrity doctor and cardiac surgeon Mehmet Oz, who secured a primary victory thanks to a late endorsement from former President Donald Trump. Oz ended up losing the general election last November to now-Democratic Sen. John Fetterman.
Asked about lessons learned from his first campaign, McCormick noted in his Fox News interview that he has entered the race “a lot earlier this time.”
“When you lose by 900 votes, there’s lots of lessons that you can learn. And so I’ve tried to learn all the things that came out of that last race and despite losing it was a great experience,” he emphasized. “The most important thing is to get out there and be authentic.”
A race between Casey and McCormick could end up being one of the most expensive and closely watched Senate contests in the country next year, as the Democrats defend their fragile 51-49 majority.
Republicans need a net gain of either one or two seats in 2024 to win back the majority — depending on which party controls the White House after next year’s presidential election.
The math and the map favor the GOP, as the Democrats are defending 23 of the 34 seats up for grabs, including three in red states and a handful in key general election battlegrounds such as Pennsylvania.
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