McCormick drawing support from Trump alumni ahead of Pennsylvania Senate bid

Demetrius Freeman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pennsylvania Republican David McCormick is drawing support from alumni of the Trump administration and allies of the former president ahead of the expected launch of his Senate campaign.

Among those advising McCormick are Hope Hicks, who worked both on former President Trump’s 2016 campaign and in his White House; and Stephen Miller and Cliff Sims, who were both high-profile staffers in the previous administration. Other prominent Trump alumni, including former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, are also supportive of McCormick’s expected bid, according to a source familiar with the matter. 

The source also said McCormick is consolidating support among prominent Pennsylvania politicos, including Christine Toretti, a Republican National Committee member from the state; David Urban, a lobbyist who also has ties to Trump; former Pennsylvania GOP Chair Robert Gleason; lawyer Jim Schultz; and strategist Mike DeVanny. 

The source noted not all of those people would be paid advisers to McCormick’s campaign but will back him in some capacity.

“What this shows is that the campaign will have a veteran team of advisers with deep Pennsylvania roots and national reputations,” the person said.

The group of Trump allies supporting McCormick was first reported by Politico.

McCormick himself has ties to the Trump administration. He was considered for various jobs in the Treasury and Defense Departments and his wife, Dina Powell, served as Trump’s deputy national security adviser.

The news indicates McCormick, a former hedge fund executive, is likely angling his campaign around his support for Trump and his policies, though it’s unclear how eager the former president is to get involved in the race after his endorsed candidate, Sean Parnell, dropped out following allegations of domestic abuse by his estranged wife and a lost custody battle. 

McCormick is far from the only one to employ a Trump-centered strategy – candidates from Ohio to Wyoming to Arizona to Alaska have tapped strategists in the former president’s orbit in an apparent attempt to curry favor with Mar-a-Lago. 

But the stakes are particularly high in Pennsylvania, where the race to replace retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R) is anticipated to be among the most hotly contested in the country and thought to be key in determining which party controls the Senate.

McCormick moved closer to a Senate bid Monday when he formally filed paperwork to form an exploratory committee to look into a run. He is expected to launch his bid in January, and would be joining a crowded GOP field. 

Businessman Jeff Bartos and former Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands have stayed in the race, though they’ve struggled to gain traction, and surgeon and television celebrity Mehmet Oz jumped into the race last month. 

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, Rep. Conor Lamb, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners Val Arkoosh and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta are running in the Democratic primary.

Tags Dave McCormick Donald Trump Hope Hicks Kellyanne Conway Mehmet Oz Pat Toomey Pennsylvania Pennsylvania GOP primary Pennsylvania Senate race Sarah Huckabee sarah huckabee sanders Stephen Miller Trump

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