Friday, December 09, 2022

Get. Senate GOP primaries too close to call, recount likely

Harrisburg, Pa. ( Associated Press) — Pennsylvania’s Republican primary is too close to call for an open U.S. Senate seat and likely headed for a statewide recount to decide the winner of a contest between heart surgeon-turned-TV celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz and He is going. David McCormick, former CEO of the hedge fund.

A recount would mean the race’s result may not be known until June 8, the deadline for counties to report their results to the state.

Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, led McCormick by 1,079 votes, or 0.08 percentage points, out of 1,340,248 ballots counted as of 5 p.m. Friday. The race is close enough to enact Pennsylvania’s automatic recounting law, which has a 0.5% margin of separation between candidates by the law. The Associated Press will not announce a winner in the race until a possible recalculation is complete.

Both campaigns have hired Washington-based attorneys to lead their recounting efforts, and both have hired Philadelphia-based campaign strategists who have done election day vote-counting for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2020. Helped to lead the operation to inspect.

The two campaigns combined had already saw hundreds of lawyers and volunteers being thrown around the presidential battlefield as election workers and election boards worked hard through the remaining ballots.

McCormick’s lead recount attorney is Chuck Cooper, a veteran Washington-based attorney and well-known advocate for prominent conservative figures. He represented then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the Russia investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and former National Security Adviser John Bolton in disputes over the publication of his book. He recently successfully argued a campaign finance case on behalf of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz before the US Supreme Court.

Oz’s principal recounting attorney is Megan Newton, who was Jeb Bush’s unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign and general counsel for the National Republican Senate Committee, and has represented Trump’s campaign and Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.

In November’s midterm elections, the winner will face Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, whom Democrats see as their best chance to take a seat in the closely divided Senate.

Fetterman won the Democratic nomination while in hospital while recovering from a stroke four days before the election. The incumbent, Republican Sen. Pat Tomei, is retiring after serving two terms.

Trump’s clout is again on the line, as he seeks a third straight victory in the Republican Senate primaries after “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance prevailed in Ohio earlier this month and U.S. Rep. Ted Budd easily won in North Carolina on Tuesday.

County election boards began meeting Friday to sort out problematic or provisional ballots, even as election workers finalize mail-in ballots and process ballots from campus on Election Day.

A federal appeals court threw a wrench in counting Friday when it ruled in an unrelated case that mail-in ballots could be counted without a legally required date on return envelopes. McCormick’s campaign saw this as a positive development, as McCormick has led Oz in mail-in ballots.

“When every single vote cast in this US Senate election is finally counted, Dave McCormick will win,” his campaign said.

Oz’s campaign did not comment on Friday evening.

The state’s 67 counties have until a Tuesday deadline in state law to certify their results to the state. Then the state’s top election official has until next Thursday to issue a recounting order, which is mandatory – unless the losing candidate says in writing that it should not be carried out.

McCormick’s campaign said it has no plans to reduce the recount. Oz’s campaign declined to comment.

Counties have up to three weeks after the election — June 7 — to finish recounting and another day to report the results to the state.

The preliminary result may have changed: A recount of a statewide judicial race last November narrowed the winner’s margin to more than 5,500 votes in a race where more than 2 million ballots were cast.

Previously, there could be a flurry of lawsuits challenging the decisions of some counties about whether counting ballots could be difficult or any type of irregularity that could be tolerated.

So far, neither campaign has gone to court, and both candidates have expressed confidence in victory.

The sizable field of Republican candidates and their Super PACs reported spending more than $70 million during the primary campaign.

Before rising to conservative activist Kathy Barnett in the final days of the campaign, Oz and McCormick dominated the seven-person GOP arena, blanketing state TV screens with political ads for months and spending millions of their own money.

The fiery, hard-line pro-Trump alternatives blistered both Oz and McCormick as “globalists,” Trump supporters, carpet baggers, and regular people too rich to help. She finished third.

Oz, best known as the host of daytime TV’s “The Dr. Oz Show,” had to clear up misconceptions among hardline Trump supporters about his conservative credentials. Rivals also alleged that his dual citizenship with Turkey would compromise his loyalty to the United States. If elected, Oz would be the country’s first Muslim senator.

McCormick was virtually unknown four months ago and insisted on his credentials as a hometown success story.

Not only did he have to overcome Oz’s support of Trump, but Trump viciously and repeatedly attacked McCormick in the final two weeks of the race, calling him a Wall Street liberal, a sell-out to China and “candidate of special interests and globalists and ” said. Washington Establishment. ,

McCormick got help from a super PAC that cost him $20 million, giving him huge cash profits, much of it from Wall Street figures who paid for TV commercials attacking Oz.

Both men reported assets of more than $100 million and went on to run out of state — Oz from a mansion in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, overlooking Manhattan, over the Hudson River, and McCormick from Connecticut’s gorgeous Gold Coast. .


Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report.


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