Pennsylvania state Senator Doug Mastriano’s Thursday announcement he won’t seek the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey next year vastly boosts potential GOP hopeful Dave McCormick’s prospects.
“I know this will be disappointing for some,” Mastriano said of his decision in a Facebook Live broadcast. “At this moment, the way things are, I am not running for the U.S. Senate seat that is going to be vacated by Casey. We need to beat him.”
In a statement following the Gettysburg-area legislator’s announcement, McCormick thanked Mastriano for his military and governmental service. He then shifted the focus toward his own possible bid.
“I am seriously considering a run for the U.S. Senate because Bob Casey has consistently made life worse for Pennsylvania families over the past 18 years and our state deserves better,” the former hedge-fund executive and former Treasury undersecretary said. “Casey votes for Biden’s liberal agenda 98 percent of the time; he is openly hostile to our state’s energy industry, endorses dangerous criminals walking freely on our streets and is enabling open borders, leading to a terrifying rise in fentanyl deaths in Pennsylvania.”
McCormick, now the only high-profile Republican candidate publicly considering an anti-Casey bid, touted his own service as a paratrooper in the Gulf War as well as his business success “creating hundreds of jobs in Western Pennsylvania.” He averred his resume demonstrates the leadership needed to win a majority of voters in 2024 and to capably serve the commonwealth in Washington.
“We need a Republican nominee who can build a broad coalition of Pennsylvanians to defeat Bob Casey and improve the lives of Pennsylvania families,” he said.
McCormick isn’t the only center-right figure with positive feelings about Mastriano’s resolution not to vie to replace Casey. The latter Republican suffered a 15-point loss in a gubernatorial contest against Democrat Josh Shapiro last year and many on Mastriano’s side of the aisle feared a repeat performance in the 2024 Senate race.
“The news will likely be a relief to all Republicans who hope to actually win the seat,” tweeted RedState editor-at-large Ben Kew.
Other conservative-movement personalities issued similarly glad reactions.
“Good move, Doug!” exclaimed the Red Eagle Politics news site.
Even some notables who admire the state lawmaker indicated they view his decision against a U.S. Senate bid as wise.
“I like Doug,” tweeted Townhall columnist Kurt Schlichter. “We are both Gulf War vets and we both come from the same part of Pennsylvania. I think he has looked at the situation and come to the right answer. Leaders put the mission first!”
While polling from Franklin & Marshall College indicates Mastriano would have come into a 2024 campaign against Casey with a 16-point disadvantage among the electorate, McCormick also needs to gain considerable ground, being seven points underwater in the save survey.
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Bradley Vasoli is managing editor of The Pennsylvania Daily Star. Follow Brad on Twitter at @BVasoli. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Dave McCormick” by Dave McCormick. Photo “Doug Mastriano” by Doug Mastriano. Background Photo “United States Capitol” by Sophie Smith.