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Local News

Casey turns focus toward general election in Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race

(Credit: John Cole/Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

Kim Lyons, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
April 20, 2024

With a Saturday voting session in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Bob Casey canceled a planned Lackawanna County campaign event on Saturday. Instead, he held a call with local reporters just days before the state’s primary election, to speak on a range of issues and outline the general election race between him and GOP opponent David McCormick. 

“I think many of you know the basic fundamentals of his candidacy,” Casey said of McCormick. “He doesn’t live in Pennsylvania, and he’s been lying to the people of our state about that; the Associated Press told us that back in August of 2023.”

Questions about McCormick’s residency have continued to follow the candidate since before the campaign launched; he has said he visits Connecticut frequently to visit his daughter from his first marriage. A New York Times article on Friday questioned whether McCormick had embellished details from his childhood in Bloomsburg; McCormick said the piece “cherry picked” details. 

“I think it was a rather stunning article,” Casey said Saturday, “and once again, an indication that he’s been misleading the people of our state.” Casey said McCormick was attacking his efforts to hold corporations accountable for price gouging, because “he’s on the side of big corporations.”

Casey also referenced McCormick’s stance on abortion: “As you all know he supports an abortion ban with no exceptions for rape and incest,” he said. McCormick’s campaign has recently disputed that characterization, but did not address it directly when asked by the Capital-Star in an email on Saturday.

Casey added that McCormick “even wants to repeal the infrastructure law. The law that’s brought hope to communities in every one of our 67 counties.”

Presented with a detailed list of the comments Casey made during the call, a McCormick campaign spokesperson responded with a statement calling Casey “an empty suit” who was “making up lies about his opponent.” 

“Thanks to Bob Casey’s rubber stamp, the nation faces a border crisis that has killed over 4,000 Pennsylvanians from fentanyl, violent crime, record inflation and regulations that are killing the commonwealth’s energy sector,” the spokesperson said.

Asked whether he was endorsing U.S. Rep. Summer Lee (D-12th District), who faces a tough primary against Edgewood Councilmember Bhavini Patel, Casey said he had already indicated his support. 

“Summer Lee and I don’t agree on every issue, that’s clear,” Casey said. “I’ve made my position on her candidacy known back in 2023. Voters now have a chance to make a determination in the Democratic primary, and we’ll see what that result is.” 

When Lee launched her re-election campaign in September, Casey was a member of the host committee, and he appears on her campaign website’s “endorsements” page.

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden mentioned Lee and Casey both by name during remarks at the Steelworkers headquarters in Downtown Pittsburgh: “I couldn’t be here today without Representative Summer Lee, Chris Deluzio, and Senator Bobby Casey, who’s one of my closest friends,” Biden said. 

McCormick’s campaign announced it raised $6.2 million in the first quarter of 2024, which includes a $1 million donation from himself. Casey’s campaign said it raised more than $5.6 million in the first three months of 2024, a personal best for the three-term incumbent.

Both campaigns pointed to their first quarter hauls as proof that momentum is on their candidate’s side in what is shaping up to be one of the most expensive Senate races in the nation.

Pennsylvania’s primary election is April 23.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kim Lyons for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

This article is republished from Pennsylvania Capital-Star under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.