UNITED STATES NEWS

Tight Pennsylvania GOP Senate race; Mastriano wins gov nod

May 17, 2022, 7:30 PM | Updated: May 18, 2022, 1:02 pm
Mehmet Oz, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, right, waves in front of his wif...

Mehmet Oz, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, right, waves in front of his wife, Lisa, while speaking at a primary night election gathering in Newtown, Pa., Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Donald Trump’s preferred candidate in Pennsylvania’s Senate Republican primary was essentially tied with a more traditional rival, while his pick for governor notched a commanding victory Tuesday as the former president worked to expand his hold on the GOP.

Doug Mastriano was already surging in the governor’s race when Trump issued an endorsement over the weekend supporting the far-right state senator. But Mehmet Oz, the celebrity heart surgeon endorsed by Trump, was locked with former hedge fund manager David McCormick in a race that was too early to call Wednesday morning.

Pennsylvania law requires recounts when the margin between the top two candidates is 0.5 percentage points or less. With just a few hundred votes separating Oz and McCormick, the result may not be clear for several days.

Tuesday marked the busiest night of the nascent primary season, with contests also being waged in North Carolina, Kentucky, Oregon and Idaho. Both parties are choosing candidates to enter the fall general election, when control of Congress, governor’s mansions and key elections posts are up for grabs.

In the perennial battleground of Pennsylvania, Mastriano’s victory was notable for what it signaled about the direction of the GOP. With the future of abortion rights in question at the U.S. Supreme Court, Mastriano has said he supports banning the procedure from conception, with no exceptions.

He has also promoted Trump’s lies about nonexistent, widespread voter fraud costing him the 2020 election and was outside the U.S. Capitol when a mob overran it during the deadly 2021 insurrection. He’s also been subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the Capitol riot following his efforts to name a slate of alternate Electoral College electors in Trump’s favor.

If Mastriano were to win in the fall, he would shape how elections are conducted in Pennsylvania — where the governor appoints the secretary of state, who oversees how elections are run. He has pledged to take the extraordinary step of requiring voters to “re-register” to vote, a move that would almost certainly encounter legal hurdles.

Such positions could repel critical moderate voters in the general election. But speaking to his supporters on Tuesday, Mastriano denied he was an extremist.

“They like to call people who stand on the Constitution far right and extreme. I repudiate that. That is crap. That is absolutely not true,” Mastriano said, adding that it was Democrats who have “gone extreme.”

Such rhetoric was appealing to some Republican voters. In the town of Hamburg, Pennsylvania, Stacy Steinly, a 51-year-old school bus assistant, said she chose Mastriano because “he was sticking by President Trump and saying that everything was fraudulent.”

“Everything he was talking about was making sense,” said Steinly, who wore a black T-shirt that said “Biden is not my president (or anyone else’s) based on legal votes.”

Mastriano, a retired Army colonel, will face Democratic state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who was unopposed in his primary.

Trump scored an easier victory early in the night when U.S. Rep. Ted Budd clinched the GOP nomination for Senate in North Carolina. Trump’s surprise endorsement last year lifted Budd, a little known congressman, over better-known rivals, including a former governor. He quickly pivoted to a general election message focused on breaking Democratic control of Washington.

“Under Joe Biden, America is woke and broke,” he said at a victory rally. “We need to put the brakes on this agenda for the sake of hardworking North Carolinians.”

Budd voted against certifying of the results of the 2020 election. He will face Democratic former state supreme court justice Cheri Beasley, who is aiming to become North Carolina’s first Black senator. She declared at a victory party that “this is our moment.”

“We have the power to restore our values to our government in Washington,” she said. “In this moment, we have the power to protect our rights.”

In another of the night’s closely watched races, progressive John Fetterman easily won Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate primary, just days after a stroke sent him to the hospital.

The 52-year-old Fetterman is known for his hulking, 6-foot-8 stature and his tattoos that helped him build a political persona as an outsider. That, combined with his support of top progressive causes such as universal, government-funded health care, was key in his easily dispatching Democratic rival U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, a moderate in the mold of President Joe Biden.

“Fetterman’s victory shows that voters are fed up and want fighters. This should be a wake up call to the entire Democratic Party establishment to fight harder against the fascists and those who obstruct a popular agenda,” Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said in a statement.

Fetterman’s win was a positive for progressives after a series of losses in top races around the country. But Biden downplayed any coming squabbles between his party’s left flank and traditional establishment, tweeting that electing Fetterman to the Senate “would be a big step forward for Pennsylvania’s working people.”

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, Fetterman could enter the general election campaign facing questions about his health. Following his stroke, he cast an emergency ballot from the hospital and tweeted Tuesday that he’d successfully undergone surgery to install a pacemaker. He said he was “on track for a full recovery.”

And Fetterman will likely face scrutiny over a 2013 incident when, shotgun in hand, he confronted a Black man because he suspected the man was involved in gunfire nearby. The man, Christopher Miyares, was unarmed and said in a TV interview that he had been jogging when Fetterman, who is white, pulled up in his pickup and pointed the shotgun at him. Fetterman has maintained he didn’t know Miyares’ race at the time of the pursuit, denied pointing the shotgun at him and said it wasn’t loaded.

Fetterman’s opponent in the fall wasn’t yet clear. Oz, the celebrity surgeon, and McCormick, who resigned in January as the CEO of Bridgewater Associates, one of the largest hedge funds in the world, were in an exceptionally tight race. Commentator Kathy Barnette, who had appeared to be gaining late momentum in the race, was trailing.

“We’re not gonna have a result tonight,” Oz said shortly before midnight, before vowing to Trump, “I will make you proud.”

McCormick struck a similar tone, saying mail-in ballots have yet to be counted: “We’re not going to have resolution tonight.”

Barnette, meanwhile, may have had her rise blunted by criticism from Trump. In a statement going into the election, he said, “Kathy Barnette will never be able to win the general election against the radical left Democrats.’

Elsewhere, one setback for Trump came when North Carolina Republican incumbent Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who was dogged by a series of high-profile blunders, lost to state Sen. Chuck Edwards. Trump posted this week that Cawthorn “made some foolish mistakes, which I don’t believe he’ll make again” and added, “let’s give Madison a second chance!”

Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, whose bid to unseat Gov. Brad Little in that state’s Republican primary was backed by Trump, also faltered.

Trump-endorsed candidates have won most Republican primaries around the U.S., but the former president’s record is not perfect. In addition to Tuesday’s defeats, last week saw Trump’s choice for Nebraska governor, Charles Herbster, lose to traditional GOP establishment choice Jim Pillen.

___

Associated Press writer Michael Rubinkam contributed from Hamburg, Pennsylvania.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

United States News

FILE - A U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter flies over a stateless dhow later found to be carrying a hidd...
Associated Press

US Navy offers cash for tips to seize Mideast drugs, weapons

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.S. Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet is starting to offer rewards for information that could help sailors intercept weapons, drugs and other illicit shipments across the region amid tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and Tehran’s arming of Yemen’s Houthi rebels. While avoiding directly mentioning Iran, the 5th Fleet’s decision […]
1 day ago
A person wearing a protective mask watches an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 ind...
Associated Press

Asian shares mixed, oil steady ahead of July 4 holiday in US

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mixed in Asia on Monday while U.S. futures fell ahead of the July 4 holiday in the U.S. Benchmarks rose in Tokyo, Shanghai and Sydney but fell in Hong Kong and Seoul. Oil prices were steady after surging on Friday. Shares in Japanese telecoms carrier KDDI Corp. fell as much […]
1 day ago
FILE - Fireworks explode over Baltimore's Inner Harbor during the Ports America Chesapeake 4th of J...
Associated Press

A turbulent US this July 4, but many see cause to celebrate

Independence Day arrives at a time when the United States is roiled by hearings over the Jan. 6 insurrection, awash in turmoil over high court rulings on abortion and guns and struggling to maintain the common bonds that keep it together. Yet many also see cause to celebrate: The pandemic continues to be on the […]
1 day ago
Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testifies about h...
Associated Press

Jan 6 panel: More people turn up with evidence against Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — More witnesses are coming forward with new details on the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot following former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s devastating testimony last week against former President Donald Trump, says a member of a House committee investigating the insurrection. The panel already has subpoenaed former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Today in History: July 4, Declaration of Independence

Today in History Today is Monday, July 4, the 185th day of 2022. There are 180 days left in the year. This is Independence Day. Today’s Highlight in History: On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. On this date: In 1802, the United […]
1 day ago
This image released by Bleecker Street shows Freida Pinto, left, and Zawe Ashton in a scene from "M...
Associated Press

‘Minions’ set box office on fire with $108.5 million debut

Families went bananas for Minions this weekend at the movie theater. ” Minions: The Rise of Gru ” brought in an estimated $108.5 million in ticket sales from 4,391 screens in North America, Universal Pictures said Sunday. By the end of the Monday’s July Fourth holiday, it will likely have earned over $127.9 million. The […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Tight Pennsylvania GOP Senate race; Mastriano wins gov nod