A Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate has been granted a significant endorsement in an influential swing state, bringing the party closer to regaining majority control of the chamber in 2021.
“As they aim to flip a Democratic-held Senate seat in a crucial battleground state in 2024, the Pennsylvania GOP is working to prevent a repeat of last year’s crowded and combustible primary,” Fox News reported, adding that the “Pennsylvania Republican committee members unanimously endorsed c Saturday as their party’s nominee in next year’s showdown against longtime Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.”
McCormick addressed the capital of Harrisburg after being formally endorsed by the state party.
“I am deeply humbled to receive the unanimous endorsement of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania. United as one, Republicans across Pennsylvania will win. We will defeat Bob Casey and bring strong leadership to Washington on behalf of the commonwealth,” he said.
McCormick, having served as a hedge fund executive and graduated from West Point, in addition to being a Gulf War combat veteran and holding a position in the Treasury Department during former President George W. Bush’s administration, launched his second consecutive Senate campaign earlier this month.
McCormick had been courted by national and state Republicans to run, and his candidacy gives the GOP a high-profile candidate with the ability to finance his own race that’s expected to be one of the most expensive in the country.
The Pennsylvania GOP’s endorsement will likely help McCormick avoid a crowded and combustible battle for the 2024 GOP Senate nomination like 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 in November to Democrat John Fetterman.
“It’s a gut check,” said McCormick, a reference to last year’s thin margin of defeat.
Last year, the state GOP made an unprecedented decision to refrain from endorsing any particular candidate.
With no formidable primary challenges foreseen for Casey, McCormick has already taken aim at him by telling supporters they live in “one of the most consequential great states in this country, and we have one of the least consequential senators.”
In June 2022, McCormick humbly conceded to Oz after the primary.
“Today, I called Mehmet Oz to congratulate him on his victory,” he said at the time.
“It’s now clear to me with the recount now largely complete that we have a nominee,” he said at a campaign party that was held at a Pittsburgh hotel. “Tonight is really about all us coming together.”
U.S. News And World Report reported:
Oz, who is best known as the host of daytime TV’s “The Dr. Oz Show,” had to overcome millions of dollars in attack ads and misgivings among hard-line Trump backers about his conservative credentials on guns, abortion, transgender rights and other core Republican issues.
According to a report from Axios at the time, former President Donald Trump was a “near-ubiquitous fixture” in the Oz campaign’s advertisements. The campaign materials included several issue-centered videos about gun rights, abortion, and energy, all beginning with the phrase “endorsed by President Trump.”
Meanwhile, Oz showcased a cover photo of him and Trump on social media. His Twitter account “mentioned Trump more than 70 times” and his campaign ran ads centered around Trump on Google and Facebook.
The Daily Wire:
However, according to Axios, Oz has not mentioned Trump on Twitter since May 17 — the day of the Republican primary. The cover photo now says, “Thank you, Pennsylvania” on a solo photo of the candidate, and the website no longer features a pop-up fundraiser window featuring Trump. Oz has also reportedly stopped running the Trump ads on Google and Facebook.