PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — Republican Pat Toomey’s Senate seat will soon be up for grabs, the May 17 primary has come and gone and Pennsylvania has two nominees who will be on the ballot come November. Ahead of voting day, abc27 has compiled information on each candidate still in the running and those who ran during the primary to help decipher who’s who in the 2022 race.
The information provided about each candidate below is based on their campaign websites or information gathered by abc27 reporters. To learn more beyond the information provided, visit each of the candidate’s campaign websites below:
Fetterman won the Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate with 58.65% and received more than 752,000 votes despite suffering a stroke days before the election. Questions grew surrounding Fetterman’s health after he received a pacemaker and defibrillator.
In a recently released USA Today Network/Suffolk University poll, Pennsylvania lieutenant governor held a nine-point lead over Oz. The poll shows Fetterman with 46% support among likely voters in the state while Oz comes in at 37%, leaving 13% still undecided in the race.
With Pennsylvania as a major battleground state for the upcoming midterm elections, Democrats have one of the few opportunities to flip the GOP-led Senate. While the race is still in its early stages with election stay still months away, the poll suggests that, at least for now, Democrats have a path to flipping the seat.
Fetterman’s early lead comes amid the hiring of a new campaign manager. With Fetterman’s health also still in question, his wife Gisele, who has been campaign on her husband’s behalf, says he may not return to in-person campaigning until July.
In a letter from Fetterman’s doctor Ramesh R. Chandra, MD, FAAC, the prognosis for Fetterman was that “if he takes his medications, eats healthy, and exercises, he’ll be fine.”
Fetterman did, however, speak via Zoom with President Joe Biden who narrowly won in Pennsylvania in 2020.
“If you’re in a foxhole, you want John with you, man,” Biden said. “I know he can’t wait to get back on the trail. He’s looking good. There’s no bigger, stronger voice for working people in this state than John. Certainly no bigger one, for that matter.”
Fetterman later shared a photo on Twitter of himself and his wife, Gisele, speaking with Biden.
“Humbled by the shoutout, Mr. President. The union way of life is sacred. I will *always* stand with working people,” Fetterman tweeted along with the photo.
Biden remained neutral in the primary but quickly expressed support for Fetterman following his victory.
During the primary race, fellow candidates Malcolm Kenyatta and Conor Lamb criticizes Fetterman for a 2013 incident when, shotgun in hand, he confronted someone who he thought was involved with gunfire in Braddock. Lamb and Kenyatta raised the issue more than once.
On his campaign website, Fetterman says that the criminal justice system needs a significant overhaul, plus, he supports legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, a $15 minimum wage in the state, and that health care is a fundamental right.
Fetterman made his candidacy for the Democratic nomination official in February 2021. He has previously ran for and served as mayor of Braddock from 2005 to 2019.
To learn more about Fetterman, visit his campaign website by clicking here.
Mehmet Oz (R)
Once the host of “The Dr. Oz Show” and attending physician at NY Presbyterian-Columbia Medical Center, Mehmet Oz won the Republican Primary with about 420,000 votes after a recount in each county across the state.
Though he trailed Fetterman in the USA Today poll, it also revealed that Republicans have begun to coalesce around Oz as their nominee in the days since his chief primary rival, McCormick, conceded. Seventy-six percent of Republican voters say they support Oz in the general election.
Since his win, Oz has been traveling throughout the state continuing to campaign and unite voters as his past opponents in the primary who once attacked him, now back him.
In Camp Hill, Carla Sands, who once said he was “Turkey first,” attended the rally. “Carla’s presence here is really important because we’re unifying the party,” Oz said.
Regarding the recent poll, Sands said, “This is early. You can’t believe the polls. The polls are a snapshot in time and we know John Fetterman is so radical, he’s to the left of Bernie Sanders,”
During his campaigning across the state, Oz’s big talking points have focused on inflation, immigration, healthcare, and energy.
On his campaign website, Oz says, if elected, he will reverse Biden’s failed agenda, incorporate financial literacy from an early age into education criteria, secure the border to stop “ghost flights” or flights with “illegal immigrants,” from entering Pennsylvania airports, and support the Second Amendment
During the primaries, Oz faced scrutiny for not residing in Pennsylvania, but now many GOP lawmakers are saying the criticism is “ridiculous.” He currently resides in New Jersey. He has also faced criticism from key rivals in the race for his Turkish citizenship, which he says he will renounce before being sworn into Senate if he wins.
Oz received Trump’s endorsement during the primary race. Ahead of the May 17 election day, Trump held a rally where he continued to show support for Oz.
“They’re spending millions of dollars and treating him very unfairly. Dr. Oz has led an enormously successful career on television, and now he’s running to save our country just like I do from the radical left lunatics and maniacs,” Trump said.
To learn more about Oz, visit his campaign website by clicking here.
Republican Primary candidates
Dave McCormick, the former hedge fund CEO for Bridgewater Associates, finished second with 31.14%, close enough to trigger an automatic recount in Pennsylvania. McCormick finished less than 1,000 votes of the primary winner Mehmet Oz.
McCormick’s career in politics includes his time as a Treasury official for former President George W. Bush’s administration.
McCormick was endorsed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Pennsylvania Senior Republican Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson, former Senate candidate Sean Parnell, among others.
As the CEO of the world’s largest hedge fund, McCormick reported that he earned more than $22 million last year. After quitting the position to run for Senate, McCormick raised $11.3 million since his campaign started.
On his campaign website, McCormick says, if elected, he would’ve lower taxes on working-class Americans, bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States, support mining coal and promote policies to cultivate natural gas production, finish building “The Wall” to secure the border, and work to ensure Pennsylvania has Voter ID requirements.
His name was officially added to the ballot for the May primary on March 14.
To learn more about McCormick, visit his campaign website by clicking here.
Former President Trump’s Danish Ambassador, Carla Sands, finished fourth with 5.45% and received more than 73,000 votes.
According to Q1 financial filings with the Federal Election Commission, Sands raised the third-highest amount behind McCormick and Fetterman with $103,193.13 in the first three months of 2022.
On her campaign website, Sands says, if elected, she wants to be “Pennsylvania unwavering energy Senator” and will utilize an “America First Platform.”
Sands’ candidate status was approved and her name was added to the ballot on March 11.
To learn more about Sands, visit her campaign website by clicking here.
Jeff Bartos announced his candidacy in March 2021 and finished fifth with 4.95%, or more than 66,000 votes.
In the 2018 campaign cycle, Bartos was the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor. Outside of politics, he owns a contracting company and several real estate acquisition and developing companies in the Greater Philadelphia market.
To learn more about Bartos, visit his campaign website by clicking here.
George Bochetto finished seventh in the election with 1.08% of the vote, or more than 14,000 votes.
The Philadelphia attorney launched his campaign for Senate at the beginning of January 2022. Bochetto said he helped prevent a 144-year-old statue of Christopher Columbus from being torn down in Philadelphia, according to the Associated Press.
According to Q1 financial filings, Bochetto had $192,213 contribute in the first three months of 2022 and reported $45,284.54 in cash on hand. Bochetto’s name was added to the ballot on March 14, just a day before the deadline.
To learn more about Bochetto, visit his campaign website by clicking here.
Sean Gale finished with 1.51% of the vote with more than 20,000 votes.
Gale announced his candidacy in February 2021, and received $12,438.36 in the first three months of 2022. At the time of the filing, he had $8,806.81 in cash on hand.
Gale received his signatures and his candidate status was approved on March 14.
To learn more about Gale, visit his campaign website by clicking here.
Kathy Barnette, a former adjunct professor of corporate finance and a regular commentator for Fox News, finished third in the race with 24.66%, or over 331,000 votes.
According to the Q1 financial filings, Barnette has received $356,463.80 since the start of 2022 and has received $1,585,548.71 since the start of her campaign.
On her campaign website, Barnette says, if elected, she would create an economy where corporations don’t have to leave the county to flee the onerous tax system, encourage states to take control of their own healthcare systems, secure the border with a wall, technology, and personnel, and work to secure elections by stopping the federalization of our elections.
She received her required signatures and her name, therefore, was added to the ballot on March 7.
To learn more about Barnette, visit her campaign website by clicking here.
Democratic Primary candidates
U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania’s 17th District, Conor Lamb, finished second in the Senate race with 26.26% of the vote with more than 336,000 votes.
Prior to election night, an Associated Press article noted that Lamb is a rising star among moderates in the House. He is being supported by a super PAC, which “laid the groundwork for attacks over electability, effectively presenting Fetterman as just as tied to the left as Sanders or the Squad and painting Lamb as a more palatable alternative.”
In the Democratic party, Lamb also has the second most Q1 contributions in the first three months of 2022, with $1,759,096.46. Among all candidates in either party, he has raised the fourth-highest amount with $5,740,022.26.
On his campaign website, Lamb says he supports raising the minimum wage to $15, protecting and strengthening the Affordable Care Act, recommitting to public education, and reinventing clemency and the pardon process in Pennsylvania.
As of March 11, Lamb has received the petition signatures and has been approved for the May primary ballot.
To learn more about Lamb, visit his campaign website by clicking here.
Philadelphia State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta finished third in the Senate race receiving 10.86% of the vote, more than 139,000 votes.
Rep. Kenyatta announced his candidacy in February 2021. Kenyatta is the State Representative for Pennsylvania’s 181st district. He received the third-highest Q1 contributions in the first three months of 2022 with $301,173.62.
Kenyatta received both donations and verbal support from multiple celebrities including Halle Berry, Amy Schumer, Robin Thicke, Tasha Smith, and Wanda Skyes, during his campaign run.
Kenyatta was the first candidate approved for the ballot just three days after the window for candidates to gather signatures opened. His candidate status was official for the May primary on February 28.
To learn more about Kenyatta, visit his campaign website by clicking here.
Alexandria Khalil finished fourth in the race with 4.24%, receiving more than 54,000 votes.
The candidate from Montgomery County filed with the Federal Election Commission in February 2021. Alexandria Khalil is a former small business owner, a member of the Jenkintown Borough council, and ran as a Bernie Sanders delegate for Montgomery County in 2016.
In the WHTM/Emerson College Polling/The Hill primary poll, Khalil rounded out the Democratic field with 2.8% of voters’ support. Khalil’s candidate status was approved on March 15 after she filed her petitions.
To learn more about Khalil, visit her campaign website by clicking here.
- Eric Orts
- Sharif Street
- Val Arkoosh
- Kevin Baumlin
Did Not Meet Petition Requirements:
Everett Stern — According to election officials, Stern did not meet the petition requirements to appear on the primary ballot. The founder and intelligence director of Tactical Rabbit announced his candidacy for the open Senate seat in February 2021. Everett Stern is known, as described on his campaign website, as a “whistleblower for federal law enforcement.” Born in New York City, Stern has been a resident of Pennsylvania since his move in 2011.
Robert Jeffries — After launching and dropping a campaign to challenge Scott Perry for Pennsylvania’s 10th congressional district seat, the Hershey Republican announced his run for Senate. He filed with the Federal Election Commission in April 2021.
Ronald Johnson — The candidate from Oil City filed with the Federal Election Commission in May 2021 but did not meet the petition requirements.
David Xu — The candidate from Ashland filed with the Federal Election Commission in August 2021 but did not meet the petition requirements.
Martin Rosenfeld — The candidate from Weedville filed with the Federal Election Commission in February 2021 but did not meet the petition requirements.
James Edward Hayes — The candidate from Allison Park filed with the Federal Election Commission in March 2021 but did not meet the petition requirements.
Israel Cruz — The candidate from Shamokin filed with the Federal Election Commission in October 2021 but did not meet the petition requirements.
This page will continue to be updated as candidates join or drop from the race. Information about each candidate will also be updated as we get closer to May 17. Candidates confirmed thus far is based on official announcements and filings with the Federal Election Commission. Visit Pennsylvania Politics or Your Local Election HQ on abc27.com for more information on upcoming elections.