John Cole, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
January 19, 2024
Brandi Tomasetti faces an uphill battle, but says she’s ready for the race.
The secretary and treasurer for Conestoga Township in Lancaster County, plans to take on David McCormick in the campaign for the GOP nomination for Pennsylvania’s Senate seat. The well-heeled McCormick— he raised $6.4 million in the fourth quarter including $1 million of his own money— has already been endorsed by the state party.
Tomasetti, 32, considers herself a “MAGA” Republican, a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump and his bid for another term in the White House. Although McCormick sought Trump’s support when he ran for Senate in 2022 and lost, he has said he’s not planning to endorse a GOP candidate before the primary.
“I truly believe that so to speak, ‘MAGA Republicans’ are the new Republican Party,” Tomasetti told the Capital-Star. “We’re kind of moving away from the old Republican Party.”
Tomasetti has already endorsed Trump’s 2024 campaign, and as a donor to his 2016 and 2020 campaigns, was a visitor to a private event at Mar-a-Lago in November, according to LancasterOnline.
“I’m pretty confident that me and McCormick probably have pretty similar views on the economy,” she said. However she called McCormick a “neoconservative” who she said supports the U.S.’s involvement in foreign wars, pointing to his time serving in former President George W. Bush’s administration.
“We welcome her to the race and look forward to winning the primary in April,” McCormick campaign communications director Elizabeth Gregory wrote in an email to the Capital-Star on Wednesday.
Tomasetti said she believes the mental health crisis in the U.S. should be handled at the federal level, calling for a national health initiative to “get America’s mental health, healthy again.”
And she hopes the GOP gets behind Trump, saying she believes he has “proven leadership skills,” and adding she she thinks Trump “didn’t get a fair term” because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said she would support the GOP nominee if it isn’t Trump, but didn’t “feel comfortable” voting for former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. But, she added “I guess I would if it were her and Biden.”
When asked if she’d support McCormick against Casey, she said she hasn’t made up her mind. “I am undecided because I view them both equally as a poor choice for Pennsylvania,” she said.
Tomasetti wants to see Republicans regain control of the Senate and criticized Casey for supporting President Joe Biden’s agenda and funding the war in Ukraine. And she believes she can get women to support her in the race.
She said she voted for Oz in the Republican Party primary in 2022 because she was a “fan” of his show and had Trump’s endorsement in the race. Tomasetti added that she thought Oz would’ve done a good job, but “would he have been my first choice? Probably not.”
Her campaign has yet to file the paperwork necessary to become a candidate and has asked for volunteers “to help gather 2,000 signatures from Jan. 23 to Feb. 11.”
She told the Capital-Star on Thursday that she’s planning to have the paperwork filed by the end of the week. Tomasetti said that overall, she’s had a positive response from Republicans since she announced on social media, but said there’s been a little bit of negative response “mostly just from trolls on the internet.”
Candidates in Pennsylvania are required to file nomination petitions with the Pennsylvania secretary of state, with 2,000 signatures required for U.S. Senate candidates. February 13 is the last day to circulate and file nomination petitions before Pennsylvania’s April 23 primary election.
And Tomasetti believes her fresh ideas make her a good candidate for the Senate.
“I just think that there’s no better time than now to fix our country,” she told the Capital-Star in an interview on Thursday. “One of the things that I think the Republican Party and our country is getting wrong in general is the lack of faith that they have in our young leaders and the younger generations to do great things.”
“I really feel like being a senator would be my dream job,” she said.
Update: This article was updated Jan. 21, 2024 at 9:45 a.m. to correct the number of signatures required on nomination petitions.
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