Tags: CPAC | Donald Trump | trump | endorsement | pennsylvania | gop | primary

What Will Trump Do in Wide-Open Pennsylvania Senate Primary?

trump speaks at cpac in a suit and red tie
Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By Tuesday, 02 March 2021 11:03 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Before and during his appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida, Donald Trump left no doubt he will endorse supporters in contested Republican primaries next year.

Already the former president has given his backing to onetime White House aide Max Miller in his primary challenge against Ohio’s pro-impeachment Rep. Anthony Gonzalez — "a real beauty, that one," Trump said at CPAC — and former state GOP Chairwoman Jane Timken over two opponents vying for nomination to succeed retiring Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

Now, Pennsylvania Republicans are wondering if and on whose behalf Trump will get involved in their May primary for a nominee to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey.

Already mobilizing for the race is Ken Braithwaite, Chester County businessman who served as Trump’s ambassador to Norway and secretary of the Navy. Braithwaite, 60, is well-connected in business circles throughout the Keystone State and a close friend of longtime Trump political adviser David Urban.

Another past Trump administration official pondering the race is Carla Sands, former actress, chiropractor, and ambassador to Denmark. Sands, 60, who succeeded her late husband Fred as head of the Vintage Capital Group, was one of Trump’s top fundraisers anywhere in 2016.

Officially in the race is Jeff Bartos, Lower Merion real estate developer and 2018 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor. Bartos, 48, has long savored a bid for the Senate and, while not personally close to the former president, has been considered a Trump Republican.

“He has taken the first official steps toward running,” veteran Pennsylvania conservative activist Lowman Henry, organizer of the annual Pennsylvania Leadership Conference, told Newsmax. “To the degree there is any frontrunner, it would be Jeff.”

Most recently, Bartos has developed a popular following as the head of the Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund, which distributed more than $3 million to more than 1,000 small businesses to keep them afloat during the pandemic.

Just jumping in the primary is the candidate sure to be the most colorful: Everett Stern, head of the private intelligence-gathering firm Tactical Rabbit and an investigator of groups ranging from, in his words, "the anti-law enforcement group FTP and the white supremacist organization Sovereign American."

"The Pennsylvania GOP has never before had an open Senate primary with no clear front runner," former Rep. Phil English, R-Pa., told Newsmax. “The balkanized political geography of the state and its diverse economy create a special challenge for Republicans to field a nominee who can unite the party factions. Still I expect that Democratic disarray will give a pro-worker nationalist Republican a strong prospect of winning."

With "no clear front-runner," it seems a foregone conclusion that one will be made in large part with an endorsement from Trump.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
Before and during his appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida, Donald Trump left no doubt he will endorse supporters in contested Republican primaries next year. Already the former president has given his backing to onetime...
trump, endorsement, pennsylvania, gop, primary, senate
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2021-03-02
Tuesday, 02 March 2021 11:03 AM
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