Pa. Republicans they conclude their statewide bus tour with a visit to the Philadelphia suburbs

MEDIA, PA – Republican candidates for office across the state of Pennsylvania have begun campaigning two-day bus tour across the state following Tuesday’s primary election, stopping in six locations across the commonwealth. David McCormick, the Republican Party’s candidate for U.S. Senate, Treasurer Stacy Garrity, Auditor General Tim DeFoor and York County District Attorney Dave Sunday, the Republican Party’s candidate for state attorney general, concluded their trip with a stop Thursday in a Philadelphia suburb.

Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Lawrence Tabas said the political strategy has typically been to campaign heavily in the 72 hours before an election, but that tactic won’t work in the current cycle.

“The 72-hour intensive program started yesterday,” Tabas said on Thursday. “We can’t beat Bob Casey by waiting until the fall. We can’t re-elect Stacy and Tim and Dave Sunday by waiting until the fall.”

Tabas touted support for former President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee. He said they have identified Pennsylvania as one of two key states in the 2024 election. He boasted about showing the latest data Republicans are limiting the Democratic Party’s advantage in voter registration in Pennsylvania. The number of registered Democrats is still higher Republicans in the Commonwealth, but Tabas noticed Republicans took advantage of this governor Josh Shapiro automatic voter registration order.

Analysis: The Pennsylvania Republican Party is seeing a marked raise in registered voters ahead of the primary election

McCormick, who was the final speaker of the night at the event at the Towne House in Delaware County, said the Republican Party is united behind the four candidates for statewide office.

“It’s a team sport, it’s a team,” McCormick said. “We have to win this election.”

Reiterating his message during the campaign, McCormick said the country was in “deep trouble” and placed blame on President Joe Biden’s administration and Casey.

McCormick’s campaign published digital advertising on Wednesday, which includes comments Casey made in 2006 in which he criticized then-incumbent U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-R-A.) for voting with President George W. Bush 98% of the time, while pointing to Casey’s current voting record in the Biden administration.

Casey criticized McCormick throughout the campaign for his recent Connecticut residency and linked him to Trumpwho lost the state in 2020.

After the speech, the Capital-Star asked McCormick how he would be different from Trump, who supported the presidential candidacy.

McCormick said he disagreed with Trump on the 2020 election result in his book Superpower in Peril: A Battle Plan to Renew America and argued that he was an “independent voice.”

Pressed on the specific policy issue on which he currently disagrees with Trump, McCormick suggested that their positions on Ukraine may differ, arguing that it is in America’s best interest to support Ukraine in defending itself against Russia.

“The position that I have taken publicly and that I have said many times is that I believe we should support Ukraine,” McCormick said. “I’m not sure exactly where President Trump is on this issue. I heard him talk about many things.

While Trump has been outspoken on various spending bills during the Biden administration, he did not specifically support or condemn recent vote to include funding for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky disagreed with Trump’s previous comments earlier in 2024 when Trump claimed this was the case could stop Ukraine’s war with Russia within 24 hours.

“I also said I was very disappointed bill that passed because it included $10 billion in economic aid that was not military in nature. It did not provide for any shifts or address the border issue,” McCormick added on Thursday. “So I tried to be very clear about what I believe in because it may be a different area. I’m not entirely sure.

Sunday, who serves as York County’s district attorney, will face former Democratic Auditor General Eugene DePasquale in the race for attorney general, which is the only statewide vacancy this year.

“I can tell you right now that the Pennsylvania attorney general is the state’s chief law enforcement officer,” Sunday said. – And don’t forget about it.

“When you hear my opponent talking about something else, he is a top law enforcement officer,” he added. “And if our community isn’t safe, nothing else matters.”

Garrity, who will face Democrat Erin McClelland in November, highlighted her office’s work on unclaimed property, returning military medals and investing more in Israel imprisons as examples of why he deserves a second term.

“They call us extremists because that’s the only thing they have,” Garrity said, referring to Democrats’ attacks. “They have no leg to stand on.”

Democrats criticized Garrity for participation in a pro-Trump rally on January 5, 2021 in Harrisburg, where she contested the results of the 2020 presidential election. Garrity was the first statewide candidate in Pennsylvania to support Trump’s 2024 bid for the White House, calling Trump in the post “the only man I trust to do his job.”

DeFoor will face state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (Philadelphia) in his bid for a second term. He praised that since his election, his office has focused on promoting financial literacy in schools and conducting various audits.

“In 2020, I came to you as a stranger and asked for help,” said DeFoor, then-Dauphin County Controller. “And I have made it clear to you that if I am elected, I intend to do one thing, and that is that the Auditor General’s job is to enforce the Pennsylvania tax code.”

“Pennsylvania’s fiscal code does not say, ‘A Republican auditor general does one thing and a Democratic auditor general does another,'” he added. “It simply states that the auditor general will do it, and that is what I have done and that is what I intend to continue to do.”

The evening also included speeches from candidates who did not receive votes, such as Alfe Goodwin, the GOP candidate for the 5th Congressional District, seeking to unseat U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware).

Goodwin did not mention Scanlon by name during her speech. She said “our constitutional rights are non-negotiable” and sharply criticized Democrats on a number of issues, including education.

“I think the Ministry of Education is way too big,” she said. “I think we need transparency in our schools.” She opposed diversity initiatives in the classroom, saying parents should know “if your children are exposed to this.”

“Well, I said, let’s just put cameras in the classroom,” Goodwin added. “I mean, why not? We’re at the point now where that’s exactly what we need.”

Goodwin, a former Philadelphia police officer and former teacher, previously ran for office as a Libertarian candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2022 and 2023. If she wins the seat, Goodwin will become the second Black woman to represent Pennsylvania in Congress.

All candidates supported by the Pennsylvania Republican Party won their bids for the party’s nomination in Tuesday’s primary elections. However, a former UN ambassador Nikki Haley received over 16% of the GOP vote for president, despite withdrawing from the race in March.

While The Biden campaign is actively trying to woo Haley voters support him on Trump by appealing insults Trump has hurled at Haley in the pastTabas said he’s not worried “at all” about Haley losing voters in November.

Asked why he thought Haley received double-digit votes, mostly in Philadelphia’s suburbs, he didn’t answer directly, instead saying Democrats should be asked why there is a movement for “disengaged” voting in some states.

During his first visit to Pittsburgh in 2024, Biden focused on unions and steel

In 2020, Biden achieved gigantic margins in Philadelphia and its counties, winning all of them by double digits except Bucks Countywhere Biden beat Trump by 4 points.

Biden visited the Philadelphia region on four different occasions in the 2024 cycle, including speech in Delaware County the day after his State of the Union address in March. During the speech, Biden emphasized abortion rights, while Democrats continue to highlight the differences between the two parties on the issue.

On Thursday night, neither candidate addressed Roe v. Wade, the Dobbs decision or abortion in their speeches.

In 2022, Democrats John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro won Philadelphia and surrounding counties by wide margins over Republicans Mehmet Oz and Doug Mastriano.

Despite the Democrats’ dynamics in the region, Tabas is confident that their mandate will be well received.

“We will do well in the southeast, very well. We will win Bucks County,” Tabas told the Capital-Star. “We will be very competitive in other counties as well.”

Asked if he thought all statewide candidates would win Bucks County, Tabas reiterated his positive attitude.

“Since we’re not putting money on it, I’ll say this,” he said.

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