2022 Pennsylvania U.S. Senate primary: Republican David McCormick, ex-CEO of Bridgewater Associates, pushes ‘America first’ campaign message

David McCormick, an economic adviser in the George W. Bush administration who later ran the world’s largest hedge fund, is among seven Republicans running for a vacant US Senate seat in Pennsylvania.

McCormick, 56, has presented himself as a “battle-hardened and true Pennsylvania” candidate who can take on President Joe Biden and the Democrats. The primary is on Tuesday.

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McCormick has stressed his willingness to stand up to China’s growing economic and military presence by restoring American manufacturing jobs, protecting intellectual property and imposing sanctions for China’s role in the trade of fentanyl to the US. He also supports securing the Mexican border with a wall and introducing voter IDs as needed.

McCormick has said he is against abortion except “on the very rare occasions there should be exceptions for the mother’s life”.

He has directed his campaign message to supporters of former President Donald Trump and has hired two prominent former Trump associates, Stephen Miller and Hope Hicks, to serve on his campaign team. Despite this, Trump supported Mehmet Oz and later claimed McCormick was “more Toomey than he was MAGA,” a reference to retired Senator Pat Toomey, one of seven Republicans who voted to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial. McCormick responded that he was running on Trump’s “great ‘America First’ agenda.”

McCormick’s relationship with the Trump administration is complex.

He is married to Dina Powell, who was once the Trump administration’s assistant national security adviser on strategy and reportedly turned down a position as US Secretary of Defense in 2019. In November 2020, McCormick was among 11 people removed from the Defense Policy Board, the US Department of Defense’s Top Advisory Committee. He was appointed to the board in 2017.

During the Bush administration, McCormick held several positions, including undersecretary for industry, assistant national security adviser for international economic policy, and undersecretary of the Treasury Department for international affairs. He later became Chief Executive Officer of Bridgewater Associates.

Although McCormick lived in Connecticut while he worked at Bridgewater, he was born in Washington County near Pittsburgh and attended high school in Bloomsburg, Columbia County.

His father, James McCormick, was once President of Bloomsburg University and Chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

David McCormick attended West Point and served in the US Army for five years after graduating in 1987. He was among the first troops deployed to Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War. He received his PhD in Public Policy from Princeton University in 1996.

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