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David McCormick addresses supporters at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh
David McCormick addresses supporters at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, on Sept. 21, 2023. Gene J. Puskar / AP

Eyes on 2024: David McCormick jumps into Pennsylvania Senate race

The former hedge fund manager will still face a lot of the same challenges he did in 2022, but will benefit from the GOP rallying around him.

By and

Less than a year and a half since he lost a competitive Republican Senate primary to celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, former hedge fund manager Dave McCormick is back.

On Thursday night in Pittsburgh, he announced that he would once again mount a campaign to become Pennsylvania’s next senator.

McCormick will have to face a lot of the same challenges he did last time — Trump is still the de-facto leader of the Republican Party; McCormick still faces allegations about his loose ties to the state; and he’ll likely again face similar attacks to those he did in 2022 about his ties to China and about outsourcing American jobs. 

Yet there are a few key differences between this election and his last bid that signal McCormick may have an easier bout in round two. 

First, he seems to have cleared the Republican field and even secured the endorsement of former state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Trump ally who was widely expected to challenge McCormick in the GOP primary. Second, he’s running in a presidential election year, which could boost him if the eventual Republican presidential nominee ends up winning Pennsylvania in the general election. 

And third, he’s running in a state that’s now represented by two Democratic senators, rather than one senator of each party. Just like Democrats were in 2022, Pennsylvania Republicans this year are eager to flip a Senate seat back into their column (that said, Democrats point to their success last year, months after Roe v. Wade was overturned, as one reason why they expect to hold Casey’s seat).

In other campaign news…

Total and complete shutdown: Former President Donald Trump is calling on congressional Republicans to defund the prosecutions against him and his allies as part of any discussions about funding the government. 

Friends like these: Former Vice President Mike Pence is amping up his criticism of Trump’s recent comments on abortion, accusing his former running mate of “walking away from the commitment to the right to life.”

A foreign policy debate: South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott criticized businessman Vivek Ramaswamy’s positions on Taiwan and Israel as “wrong,” arguing in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that “you cannot put an expiration date on our allies.” 

What about us? North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson both remain short of qualifying for next week’s GOP debate and are bearing some frustration with it, NBC’s Emma Barnett reports. 

Live free or die without an early primary debate: Fox News reports that the Republican National Committee is telling New Hampshire it would nix plans for a GOP primary debate in the state if it decides to move ahead of Iowa in the GOP presidential nominating calendar. 

No, labels: A liberal donor network joins the chorus of those on the left warning a third-party presidential bid by No Labels would hurt President Joe Biden and favor the GOP, Politico reports

Hail to the victors: Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig is planning to jump into the Michigan Senate race next month, Politico reports, joining a primary with former GOP Rep. Mike Rogers. 

A Rand entrance: Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul stars in a new ad criticizing Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear over transgender issues, arguing he has “more in common with California liberals than Kentucky families.”