UNITED STATES NEWS

David McCormick is gearing up for a Senate run in Pennsylvania. But he lives in Connecticut

Aug 13, 2023, 9:06 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — David McCormick had a clear explanation for why his fellow Republican, Dr. Mehmet Oz, lost a critical Pennsylvania Senate seat: Voters viewed the daytime television celebrity as an interloper from New Jersey with limited ties to the state he hoped to represent.

“People want to know that the person that they’re voting for ‘gets it,’” McCormick, who narrowly lost to Oz in a GOP primary, said in March when asked to offer a postmortem of the general election defeat. “And part of ‘getting it’ is understanding that you just didn’t come in yesterday.”

As Republicans aim to gain the one seat they need to retake the Senate in next year’s elections, McCormick is a top recruit. And before his anticipated campaign, he’s working to avoid Oz’s fate, frequently noting his upbringing in Pennsylvania, his ownership of a home in Pittsburgh and a family farm near Bloomsburg.

“I live in Pennsylvania,” McCormick said during a March appearance on Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s podcast.

But the reality is more complex. While McCormick does own a home in Pittsburgh, a review of public records, real estate listings and footage from recent interviews indicates he still lives on Connecticut’s “Gold Coast,” one of the densest concentrations of wealth in America. The former hedge fund CEO rents a $16 million mansion in Westport that features a 1,500-bottle wine cellar, an elevator and a “private waterfront resort” overlooking Long Island Sound.

The trappings of a wealthy enclave, well outside Pennsylvania, offer a jarring contrast with the political identity McCormick has sought to cultivate, which emphasizes his upbringing buck hunting, his Army service and his desire to serve his home state.

Whether voters care will be tested anew should McCormick formally launch a campaign to unseat three-term Democratic Sen. Bob Casey in the 2024 election, which will help determine partisan control of the chamber. Recent Senate history suggests that even favorite sons can be stung when loose ties to home become a campaign issue.

Chris Borick, a professor of political science at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, said McCormick has “more legitimate connections to Pennsylvania than Mehmet Oz.” But he questioned the decision to spend significant time out-of-state, particularly given the decisive role that residency played in the 2022 matchup between Oz and Democratic Sen. John Fetterman.

“He spent a big chunk of time working for Wall Street and living in Connecticut,” Borick said of McCormick. “There’s nothing wrong with that choice — unless you want to be a U.S. senator from Pennsylvania.”

He added, “As someone who is aware that he is going to have to confront this, it’s questionable to not really devote yourself.”

A spokeswoman for McCormick, Elizabeth Gregory, declined to make him available for an interview and would not say how much of his time he spends at his Connecticut mansion, which also boasts a spa, pool and heated pavilion nestled in an area that real estate listings describe as a “summer playground of America’s wealthiest families.”

“Dave has called Pennsylvania home for 30 years and served our country outside of Pennsylvania for an additional 13,” she said. “It’s the place he mailed letters back to when he served in Iraq and the place where three of his daughters were born.”

She said, “While he maintains a residence in Connecticut as his daughters finish high school, Dave’s home is in Pittsburgh and for the last 10 years he has owned a working farm in his hometown of Bloomsburg, which has been in the family for decades.”

McCormick was raised in that Susquehanna River town, where his father was a local college president. Political ads emphasize a biography of high school sport, hunting and trimming Christmas trees on his family’s farm.

His career since leaving Pennsylvania has been considerably more gilded.

After graduating West Point, McCormick served as an officer in the Gulf War and later earned a doctorate from Princeton. During the heady days of the dot-com bubble, McCormick was CEO of the internet auctioneering house FreeMarkets — amassing wealth as he steered the Pittsburgh-based company to a nearly $500 million acquisition deal in 2004.

He served several years in President George W. Bush’s administration, including a stint as a top deputy to then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. Afterward, he joined the upper executive ranks of the global hedge fund behemoth Bridgewater Associates, eventually climbing to CEO. In 2022, McCormick and his wife, Dina Powell McCormick, a former Goldman Sachs executive, held a net worth that ranged between $95.7 million and at least $196.7 million, and included homes in Dallas and the Colorado Rockies, according to an analysis of a candidate financial disclosure he filed with the Senate last year.

Once McCormick set his sights on the U.S. Senate, he began to make some well-timed adjustments.

Three months before launching his first Senate run in January 2022, McCormick sold his family’s $6.5 million home in Fairfield, Connecticut. That was followed by the $2.8 million purchase of a stately Tudor-style home in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill North neighborhood, records show.

Around the same time, the Connecticut mansion, which he now lists as his home address in some public documents, was taken off the rental market.

McCormick has also not received a homestead tax exemption on his Pittsburgh home, a tax break reserved for an individual’s primary place of residence. He voted in a Pennsylvania election for the first time in 16 years during the 2022 Republican primary, when he was on the ballot, voting records show.

When McCormick delivered his concession speech after losing to Oz by just over 900 votes, he was unequivocal about where he lived.

“We’re not going anywhere. This is my home. This is our home,” McCormick said. “This is where my dreams were launched, and this is where we plan to have a future.”

Meanwhile, his children continued to attend a $53,000-a-year Connecticut private school where one is still enrolled, according to the school’s website.

In January, as McCormick started to eye another run, he shed his $13.4 million condo on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. A document signed by McCormick that was filed in connection with the sale was notarized in Westport, Connecticut, and lists the nearby beachfront home as his address.

This spring, McCormick participated in a series of virtual interviews from the kitchen of his Westport home. Distinguishing features in the background match pictures that were posted publicly before the McCormicks moved in.

A $5,000 campaign contribution made in late March also lists the beachside house as McCormick’s home.

McCormick’s wealth, which he can channel into his political aspirations, makes him an attractive potential candidate to the Republican Washington establishment, which is cheering him to run again.

But it also presents an opportunity for Democrats, who are likely to seize on his ties to Wall Street in what is expected to again be one of the most competitive Senate matchups in the country.

“This is all dress up,” said J.B. Poersch, the head of Senate Democrats TV spending campaign arm. “Covering up for the years that he spent as a hedge fund-monger appears to be just as important as pretending that he fits in.”

___

Associated Press writer Marc Levy contributed from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

United States News

Associated Press

Philadelphia police officer shot by fleeing suspect is in critical condition

A Philadelphia police officer was shot in the neck and was in critical condition Saturday night, officials said. The 31-year-old officer was in critical condition and undergoing surgery at Temple University Hospital, Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said during a news conference outside the hospital. The officer, a veteran of more than six years on the […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

A fourth victim has died a day after a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store, police say

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Police say a fourth victim has died a day after a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store. The person died Saturday evening, Arkansas state police said in a statement. A total of 14 people were wounded in Friday’s shooting, according to police: “11 civilians, two law enforcement officers and the […]

4 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturda...

Associated Press

Trump endorses Ten Commandments in schools, implores evangelical Christians to vote in November

Trump endorsed displaying the Ten Commandments in schools while speaking to a group of politically influential evangelical Christians.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

2 people were taken to a hospital after lightning struck a tree near a PGA Tour event in Connecticut

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Two people were taken to the hospital Saturday after lightning struck a tree near a home along a golf course that is hosting the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship. The home is just north of the fifth green at TPC River Highlands, which is hosting the tournament one week after the U.S. […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Jury awards more than $13 million to ultramarathon athlete injured in fall on a Seattle sidewalk

SEATTLE (AP) — A jury awarded $13.1 million to an ultramarathon athlete who was severely injured when she fell on a Seattle sidewalk in 2021. The award by a King County jury found that the city of Seattle and the owners of an apartment building are responsible for the amount, the Seattle Times reported. Lesley […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Rains, cooler weather help firefighters gain ground on large wildfires in southern New Mexico

RUIDOSO, N.M. (AP) — Recent rains and cooler weather are helping more than 1,000 firefighters gain ground on two wildfires in southern New Mexico on Saturday that have killed two people, destroyed hundreds of homes and forced thousands to flee. Fire crews took advantage of temperatures in the 70s, scattered showers and light winds to […]

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

David McCormick is gearing up for a Senate run in Pennsylvania. But he lives in Connecticut