GOP Senate Nominee McCormick Grew Up In A Mansion -- Not 'On A Farm'

Dave McCormick

Dave McCormick

David McCormick, who is Pennsylvania's presumptive Republican U.S. Senate nominee, has often suggested he grew up poor in a rural community. But a new report finds that his upbringing was far more affluent than he's suggested.

The New York Times reported Friday that McCormick — a former hedge fund executive who lived in Connecticut as recently as 2022 — has been cagey with voters about his childhood. McCormick has tweeted that he was "raised in Bloomsburg working on his family's farm," said on a 2022 podcast that he "started with nothing" and told CBS News that same year that he "didn't have anything" growing up as the son of two schoolteachers.

But according to the Times, McCormick's father, Dr. James H. McCormick, was appointed president of what is now Bloomsburg University by Gov. Milton Schapp (D) in 1973. He moved his family into Buckalew Place — the official mansion for presidents of the school that currently spans 5,500 square feet — when his son was just eight years old. The Times reported that he was paid a salary of $29,000 at the time, which is more than $200,000 in today's dollars.

"He had a very privileged childhood," 76-year-old Linda Cromley — a lifelong Bloomsburg resident who attended church with the McCormicks for a stretch — told the Times. "He didn’t grow up a poor kid. Which doesn’t mean that he has to — but don’t pretend that you were."

During a roundtable discussion earlier this year, McCormick referred to himself as a "farmer that's got a big farm in Columbia County." However, that's a reference to his family's 600-acre Christmas tree farm that they purchased after the McCormicks had already been living at Buckalew Place for several years.

Mary Gummerson, who rented part of the farm with her husband for more than three decades, told the Times that while David McCormick had spent some summers baling hay and trimming trees, his description of himself as a "farmer" was somewhat misleading.

“They were hunters and he grew up in a farm kind of environment," Gummerson said. “But no, he’s not planting corn.”

McCormick didn't respond to the Times' interview request, but clarified in a statement that "growing up, we lived on campus at Bloomsburg State College and my parents owned a farm 10 minutes down the road." He added that the Times' highlighting of the discrepancies between his descriptions of his biographical details and the actual details of his upbringing were "hair-splitting, frivolous, cherry-picked distortions of what I have always said."

Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate primary is Tuesday, though McCormick has no Republican opposition. He will face off with Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in the November election, who is seeking a fourth six-year term. According to RealClearPolitics' polling average, Casey leads McCormick by more than five points.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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