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Local News

Casey and McCormick agree to three debates in Pa. U.S. Senate race

Credit: Pennsylvania Capital-Star

John Cole, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
April 25, 2024

Democratic U.S. Sen Bob Casey’s campaign announced on Thursday he intends to participate in three debates with GOP opponent David McCormick this fall, one in Philadelphia, one in Pittsburgh, and one in Harrisburg, ahead of the Nov. 5 general election. 

“In keeping with Pennsylvania’s proud history of political debates, Senator Casey is ready to make his case for re-election and looks forward to engaging his opponent on the issues that matter to the Commonwealth,” the campaign said in a statement.

The Capital-Star reached out to the McCormick campaign for comment shortly following the announcement from Casey’s campaign. The McCormick campaign responded with a link to a post on social media from McCormick that read, “Glad to hear it. See you there.” The McCormick campaign later sent out a press release linking to the post.

The terms of the debate weren’t yet available Thursday. 

In 2022, Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz only participated in one general election debate. In 2018, during Casey’s most recent successful bid for U.S. Senate, he debated GOP challenger U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta twice before the general election. 

Casey and McCormick, who were the only candidates on their respective parties’ April 23 primary ballots, formally won the nominations this week. They’ve been focused on campaigning against each other for months, since neither had a viable primary challenger, and are touring the commonwealth to tout their messages. 

Casey launched his campaign’s “On Our Side Road Trip” earlier this week where he’s promoting his record in the U.S. Senate in visits across the state. McCormick is currently on the “Fight for Pennsylvania’s Future” bus tour along with Republicans attorney general candidate Dave Sunday, Auditor General Tim DeFoor, and Treasurer Stacy Garrity, both of whom are up for reelection.

The showdown between Casey and McCormick is expected to be an expensive one. Each campaign reported raising over $5 million in the first three months of 2024, with McCormick reporting $6.2 million in the most recent quarter, while Casey raised $5.6 million. However, McCormick’s haul included $1 million of his own money, campaign finance records showed.

As of April 3, Casey’s campaign had $11.88 million on hand, while McCormick’s campaign had $6.23 million.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kim Lyons for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.