Republican U.S. Senate candidates derided as ‘bagging rugs’ have made it easier for their main competitors in a forum on Wednesday evening.
They didn’t show up. And the contestants made sure the crowd in Lawrence County, on the state line with Ohio, heard about it.
Jeff Bartos of Lower Merion opened up about contestants known for their posh addresses in other states – Mehmet Oz of New Jersey, Carla Sands from California, and David McCormick of Connecticut – joking that “being a lifelong Pennsylvanian is a defining feature of this campaign.”
Catherine Barnette, a conservative commentator from Montgomery County, closed the forum on a harsher note.
“I think it’s very interesting that the three porters who are in this race, who have galloped around our state, saying they’re going to listen to us and work for us and yet they’re not there at all because they don’t. hold on to you,” she said. “These very wealthy people are going to be calling from their penthouses.”
George Bochetto, a Philadelphia attorney who entered the race this week, spoke out against the aliens, all of whom have substantial past ties to Pennsylvania. He hit hardest in Oz, the famous TV doctor known for his New Jersey mansion overlooking the Manhattan skyline.
“Why can’t he just admit he’s been living in New Jersey for 30 years?” Bochetto said in an interview. “Why does he have to lie to people and say, ‘I’m a Pennsylvanian’? It’s really insulting to the intelligence of voters.
Bochetto’s supporters on Saturday registered a new super PAC, From Pennsylvania for Pennsylvania, to hammer the point. Rich businessman Tom Knox, who invested more than $10 million in a failed mayoral bid in 2007, is the super PAC’s deputy treasurer and told Clout he plans to contribute “a substantial amount” in a bid to raise about $5. millions of dollars.
Money is, as always, a major factor since the accused carpet baggers are all wealthy, making them potentially competitive self-financiers. They are already the top Republican TV spenders in the race, according to ad-tracking firm AdImpact, with Oz at $4.6 million, McCormick at $3 million and Sands at $2 million.
Oz, who now says he rents a Bryn Athyn home from his wife’s parents, went to medical and business school at the University of Pennsylvania, got married here and was born here to two of his four children.
Sands, appointed ambassador to Denmark by the former president donald trump, notes that she grew up in the Harrisburg area and registered to vote in Pennsylvania in 2020, nine months before Sen. Pat Toomey announced that he would not seek a third term.
McCormick grew up in Bloomsburg and, while officially joining the race on Thursday, introduced himself as a seventh-generation Pennsylvanian who has owned his family’s Christmas tree farm there for more than a decade.
A pair of Democratic Senate candidates who are also doctors took Oz to task this week after scouring the Pennsylvania Farm Show on Sunday, offering to check blood pressure of people present. All of this happened, of course, in the shadow of the show’s half-ton butter sculpture.
Oz, who used an automated machine rather than a manually inflated blood pressure cuff and stethoscope, posted a video on Twitter of himself testing a man – both without a mask – by slipping the cuff over his shirt arm in flannel.
Chairman of the Montgomery County Commissioners Val Arkoosh, an anesthetist, took the opportunity to note the many accusations that Oz pushed fake COVID-19 treatments and rose to fame touting magic fat burners on TV.
“Thinking of the damage this quack would do as a US senator, it should raise our whole blood pressure,” Arkoosh told Clout in an email.
Kevin Baumlin, a Philadelphia emergency physician, accused Oz of “medical malpractice.”
“Making a show of taking blood pressure measurements right now, without displaying proper infection control protocols, is irresponsible and unethical,” he told Clout.
Oz’s camp pushed back, saying “many Americans have been hurt by ignoring chronic health conditions due to COVID-19 fears” and that its “little tips and advice can go a long way” to help them.
Well, it’s a change of pace. Democratic neighborhood leaders in Northeast Philadelphia have agreed on something.
Precinct leaders with divisions in the state’s 5th Senate District met Monday and unanimously chose one of their own, Precinct 66A Shawn Dillon, 56, as a candidate in a special election.
lieutenant governor John Fetterman, who presides over the Senate, on Saturday set the special election for the same day as the primary election, currently May 17.
Two representatives of the State, Ed Neilson and mike driscoll, as well as former Lt. Gov. Mike Stack III had expressed interest in the seat, now open because the former state senator. John Sabatina Jr. was sworn in as a judge of the Court of Common Pleas last week. Dillon was the only person nominated for the opening.
Party factions in Northeast Philadelphia have been openly at odds for seven years. Dillon, who retired this year from the state auditor general’s office, said Monday’s vote signaled an end to that dispute.
“I think all of that is behind us,” he said. “I think we’re all heading in the same direction here.”
The Republican city committee did not respond when asked this week to select a candidate for the special election.