Election 2022: Policy summary of Republican candidates for Pennsylvania Senate

(The Center Square) – Three candidates have emerged as the Republican leaders for a U.S. Senate seat ahead of next week's Pennsylvania primary.

Voters on May 17 will make their choices among seven GOP hopefuls. The top five candidates are Dr. Mehmet Oz, military veteran Kathy Barnette, businessman David McCormick, former lieutenant governor nominee Jeff Bartos, and former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands.

The latest poll from the Trafalgar Group has Oz at 24.5%, Barnette at 23.3%, McCormick at 21.6%, Bartos at 7.2%, and Sands at 6.5%. Lawyers George Bochetto and Sean Gale are also running, but poll at less than 5%. In a poll from Franklin & Marshall College released last week, Oz leads at 18%, followed by McCormick at 16% and Barnette at 12%; the rest are at 5% or less.

The Senate seat is currently held by Republican Pat Toomey, who is retiring, leaving the primary field open. In the Democratic primary, voters are choosing between Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, and Jenkintown Councilwoman Alex Khalil, with Fetterman a clear polling leader.

For a policy overview of the Republican candidates, The Center Square took a look at their websites.

Dr. Mehmet Oz

Oz’s celebrity status helped his name recognition for jumping into the race and building an early lead in the polls. Former President Donald Trump has given an endorsement, which modestly bumped poll ratings. “Dr. Oz seeks to rebuild the middle layers of society – institutions like family and community – that have been hollowed out by failed policies, narrow thinking, and toxic culture wars,” his website says. He wants to promote energy independence in Pennsylvania and wants to overturn “heavy-handed regulations,” grow the economy and halt illegal immigration, and reform health care by lowering prescription drug prices. He is anti-abortion, proponent of the 2nd Amendment, and wants to encourage volunteerism among the public again in the name of service.

Kathy Barnette

Barnette offers voters a day one pledge for how she’ll serve as a senator, such as she’ll protect individual liberty and fundamental rights on speech, gun rights, free and fair elections, and oppose civil forfeiture. She is anti-abortion, wants to protect national sovereignty by addressing illegal immigration, restore energy independence, and fight corruption. She also wants to fight “government-imposed income stagnation and wealth inequality” by keeping inflation low and defining the Federal Reserve’s role as stabilizing the dollar.

David McCormick

McCormick has a strong focus on economic issues: his first three campaign issues are growing the country’s economy, standing up to China, and establishing American energy independence. Doing so means lower taxes and regulations, getting inflation under control, moving supply chains out of China and rebuilding American manufacturing, and expanding Pennsylvania’s energy industry. He also wants to stop illegal immigration, rebuild the military, reduce crime in cities, and promotes voter ID requirements for election integrity. He is anti-abortion and a proponent of the 2nd Amendment.

Jeff Bartos

Bartos argues that he’s a fighter looking to restore “hope and opportunity for all Pennsylvanians.” He promotes economic policies to make homeownership, health care, and education more affordable, calling them the staples of middle-class life.

Carla Sands

Sands’ platform leads with her calling for America First policies to grow job opportunities and protect freedom of speech and religion. She wants to promote energy dominance and grow Pennsylvania’s natural gas production, fight inflation and reckless spending from the Biden administration, whose agenda she calls socialist, and protect the 2nd Amendment. She also wants to build a border wall to stop illegal immigration, pledges to always vote to fund the police, and is anti-abortion.

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