HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — With Pat Toomey retiring from the U.S. Senate, the race has been on for a crowded field of Republican candidates vying for the open seat.
The race has seen tens of millions of dollars in advertising and started as a two-man back and forth between TV’s Doctor Mehmet Oz and former Hedge Fund CEO Dave McCormick. There was also a battle of who is more “Pennsylvanian” which as been an important topic for lifelong resident Jeff Bartos.
“When the Democrats shut us down, when Tom Wolf and John Fetterman shut us down the last two years, I rolled up my sleeves,” Bartos said during the Republican U.S. Senate Debate in Harrisburg. “I gathered a great group of leaders. We raised three and a half million dollars and helped over a thousand women and men across all 67 counties keep the lights on in their small businesses, saving thousands of jobs for working families.”
Dr. Oz, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has faced the most criticism regarding his residency in the state but says his stances are the most important.
“I’m very proud of my roots. But here’s the real truth. People care much more about what you stand for than where you’re from,” Oz said.
Former U.S. Ambassador Carla Sands believes she’s the one who will put America first.
“I’m the only person in this race that was appointed by President Trump to be his ambassador to Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands that actually worked in the administration putting America first policies forward every single day,” Sands said during the Republican U.S. Senate Debate in Harrisburg.
Conservative Political Commentator Kathy Barnette has been surging as of late but is facing attacks of her own. In response, she says she doesn’t have any skeletons in her closet.
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“We need people to go to D.C. who have a backbone made of something sturdier than ear cartilage, who will stand up and fight for us,” Barnette said. “Knowing what to do is not generally the hard thing. It is deciding I’m going to do what is right.”
The race for U.S. Senate is lining up to be an eventful Primary on Tuesday, May 17.