Republican Dave McCormick, a former hedge fund executive and Gulf War veteran, is expected to launch a second bid for US Senate in Pennsylvania, according to two sources familiar with his plans, seeking to challenge three-term Democratic Sen. Bob Casey more than a year after losing a GOP primary for the commonwealth’s other Senate seat.
The Associated Press first reported news of McCormick’s plans.
McCormick came within roughly 1,000 votes of winning the Republican nomination in 2022, when he lost to Mehmet Oz, the onetime television doctor backed by former President Donald Trump. Oz lost the general election to John Fetterman, then the Democratic lieutenant governor.
The prospect of a new bid by McCormick began shortly after the last one officially ended. He would enter this race seen as the front-runner for the GOP nomination and, in the estimation of Republican donors and officials, a formidable potential challenger to Casey, who was reelected in 2018 with more than 55% of the vote.
Casey has long been a fixture in Pennsylvania politics. The son of a former governor, he also served as state auditor general and treasurer. He announced his reelection campaign in April, about two months after disclosing he had undergone surgery for prostate cancer that “should not require further treatment.”
With Democrats holding a narrow Senate majority, defending seats like Casey’s will be key to the party maintaining control of the chamber. Democrats hold most of the competitive Senate seats on the ballot next year, including six in states that voted for Trump at least once.
In late May, McCormick announced that he was “seriously considering a run” in a statement released shortly after state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a fervent election denier and the losing 2022 GOP nominee for governor, said he would not enter the contest.
“I thank Doug for his years of military and public service and his dedication to Pennsylvania,” McCormick said, before hinting that he was the GOP’s best option for uniting its assorted factions. “We need a Republican nominee who can build a broad coalition of Pennsylvanians to defeat Bob Casey and improve the lives of Pennsylvania families.”
Mastriano lost in a landslide to Democrat Josh Shapiro in their gubernatorial race last year but maintains a dedicated base of support, especially among Trump loyalists. McCormick’s wife, Dina Powell, served as a top national security official in the first year of the former president’s administration.
Democrats had begun to criticize McCormick even before he entered the Senate primary, viewing him as a legitimate threat to Casey. In mid-June, after Trump was indicted on federal charges, the state party slammed McCormick for going “silent on Trump’s indictment” while also recalling, in an email to reporters, Trump’s criticism of McCormick during the 2022 race.
Casey is not expected to face a serious challenge in the Democratic primary.
This story has been updated with additional reporting.