Pa. U.S. Senate hopeful Bartos tees off on ‘carpet baggers’ in GOP nominating race

In a Monday policy memo, the MontCo businessman argued he ‘stands alone as the only candidate with meaningful ties to the state’

By: - January 3, 2022 3:53 pm

Jeff Bartos in his campaign-opening ad. (Bartos campaign)

By Justin Sweitzer

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Bartos is promising to prioritize policies that benefit Pennsylvanians if elected to the Senate later this year and is taking some shots at his opponents in the GOP primary in the process.

The Bartos campaign released a memo Monday detailing five major pillars of the real estate developer’s platform, which includes immigration, taking on China, keeping communities safe, bolstering election security and backing conservative economic policies.

However, the memo also looks to highlight Bartos’ Pennsylvania bonafides at a time when multiple Republican candidates are facing questions about the legitimacy of their residency. And GOP candidates like Dr. Mehmet Oz and hedge fund executive David McCormick weren’t spared.

“In the GOP primary for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat, Jeff Bartos stands alone as the only candidate with meaningful ties to the state and a proven conservative record of bringing jobs to the state,” said Conor McGuinness, Bartos’ campaign manager, who added that Bartos’ “conservative credentials and long history in the state make him stand out in a crowd of carpetbaggers with no history of standing up for the conservative positions they now claim to espouse.”

McGuiness also said other candidates are treating the state like an “at-large district.” The memo released by the Bartos campaign was even more explicit in its wording.

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The memo refers to Oz, the celebrity physician and TV host, as “a TV celebrity who lives in New Jersey and works in Manhattan. He has stronger ties to Turkey than to Pennsylvania, having served in the Turkish military.” The Oz campaign could not immediately be reached for comment.

McCormick, who is rumored to be entering the race soon, was also referenced in the memo, with the Bartos campaign stressing McCormick’s ties to Connecticut. “His ties to the state are two decades old and include shipping hundreds of jobs out of Pennsylvania to India,” the memo reads.

Former Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands also spent decades in California before becoming an ambassador for former President Donald Trump’s administration, according to The Associated Press, however, she was not named in the Bartos memo.

In addition to raising questions about his opponents’ commitment to the state, the Bartos memo also outlined five policy positions that the campaign says will benefit Pennsylvanians.

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On immigration, Bartos is vowing to prohibit sanctuary cities from receiving taxpayer dollars from the federal government and says he will support efforts to secure the southern U.S. border. Bartos is also taking a tough stance on China, promising to “hold China accountable” and support policies that strengthen prosecution for anyone stealing intellectual property from the U.S.

Bartos also says he will oppose efforts to defund police departments, support the Second Amendment, advocate for stronger voter ID laws and cut federal spending and red tape.

The Republican primary field for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seat has grown since former Army ranger Sean Parnell exited the race in November 2021, with Oz jumping into the race and McCormick expected to formally enter the race this year.

Justin Sweitzer is a reporter for City & State Pa., where this story first appeared.

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