Connecticut-based millionaire and former hedge fund CEO Dave McCormick on Thursday announced that he will challenge incumbent Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), following months of recruitment efforts by national Republicans. McCormick, who has run for the Senate before, has a long record of opposing public education, reproductive rights, and American workers.
Hours before a scheduled Pittsburgh announcement speech, McCormick released a campaign video, promising: “I will fight for pro-growth economic policies, for America-first energy policies. I will fight on day one to secure borders. I will lead the fight on China.”
In 2022, McCormick sought the Republican nomination for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. He narrowly lost in a primary to television personality Mehmet Oz after Democrats criticized both candidates as carpetbaggers from out of state.
McCormick told the right-wing American Enterprise Institute this March, in an interview first flagged by the progressive super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, that part of the reason Oz lost to Democratic nominee John Fetterman in the November 2022 general election was a lack of authentic connection to the state.
Telling the interviewer that he himself has deep roots in Pennsylvania, McCormick said: “He didn’t have enough anything like that. And so that explains a lot, I think, because people want to know that the person that they’re voting for kind of gets it, and part of getting it is understanding that you just didn’t come in yesterday.” (Disclosure: The American Independent Foundation is a partner organization of American Bridge.)
Though McCormick repeatedly claimed to be a Pennsylvania resident during his 2022 campaign and earlier this year, an August 14 Associated Press investigation of tax filings and property records revealed that he still appears to live in a $16 million mansion in Westport, Connecticut.
The American Independent Foundation later reviewed additional tax records that show he paid Westport town motor vehicle taxes on two vehicles, indicating that they were still registered in Connecticut as of October 2022.
In his 2022 campaign, McCormick spoke about his opposition to abortion. He endorsed a nearly total abortion ban during an April 2022 debate: “I believe in the very rare instances, there should be exceptions for the life of the mother.”
A spokesperson told the Philadelphia Inquirer last June that McCormick now supports exceptions in cases of rape and incest.
Recent polls have shown more than 60 percent of Pennsylvanians support abortion being legal in most or all circumstances. Casey has backed legislation to restore the right to an abortion in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe v. Wade.
During his 2022 campaign, McCormick opposed gun safety legislation and, on his campaign website, accused the “extreme left” of wanting to abolish the Second Amendment.
McCormick attacked public education during a March radio interview, also flagged by American Bridge. Asked on the Rich Zeoli Show about “wokeness” in the education system, McCormick complained that schools were not teaching that America is exceptional:
And this all became clear during COVID, because all of a sudden, parents could see that the history that was being taught, the sexualization that was happening, particularly in our elementary schools, they could see that teachers were making decisions that were not in the best interests of their children. And that’s why we’ve got to break the back of our teachers’ unions and our public school system and give kids choice and get parents more involved.
McCormick said in April 2022 that he opposes efforts to increase the $7.25-an-hour federal minimum wage, which has not been adjusted since 2009. “I wouldn’t change the minimum wage we have now,” he said on the Politics PA podcast. “But I wouldn’t raise it.”
Asked that January about allegations that his businesses had outsourced Pennsylvania jobs, he told Pittsburgh radio station KDKA: “Certainly, there was never any outsourcing of jobs to any country, and there was certainly no outsourcing of jobs to China. And the businesses I ran had very, very little business at all with China. The firm I led had two percent of its revenue coming from China.”
This appeared to contradict a 2005 Pittsburgh Tribune-Reviewstory about McCormick’s assumption of the position of undersecretary of commerce for export in the George W. Bush administration, which said, “McCormick said his experience as a corporate CEO helping companies to move work offshore, and as a platoon leader in the Army during the first Gulf War, will serve him well in his new post.”
The American Independent Foundation reported in March 2022 that McCormick had repeatedly called himself a former Army Ranger, though he never earned that title.
According to the Army’s Special Operations Command, only military members who serve or served in the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment can call themselves a U.S. Army Ranger. McCormick completed the Army’s Ranger Course training program in 1988, entitling him to say he was “Ranger qualified,” according to U.S. military standards, but he never served in the 75th.
In his 2022 campaign, he touted the endorsement of Sean Parnell, a former primary opponent who had dropped out of the race. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had reported that Parnell sought to seal custody records after his estranged wife filed protection-from-abuse orders against him.
“The real David McCormick is a mega-millionaire Connecticut hedge fund executive who is lying about living in Pennsylvania, and has spent his life looking out for himself and his rich friends at the expense of working families,” Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesperson Maddy McDaniel told the American Independent Foundation. “Bob Casey has spent his career fighting for Pennsylvanians who work for a living, while McCormick has shown he will do and say anything to benefit himself and his wealthy Wall Street friends.”
Casey has introduced 54 bills so far in 2023, addressing gun violence, Medicare and Medicaid expansion, public health, and costs for Pennsylvania families.
The Cook Political Reportlists the race as competitive, but leaning Democratic.
Reprinted with permission from American Independent.