Candidate in hospital, others scrambling before Pa. primary

May 15, 2022, 11:59 PM | Updated: May 16, 2022, 9:20 pm
A voter arrives to cast their mail-in ballot at the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh Mon...

A voter arrives to cast their mail-in ballot at the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh Monday, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

              A voter arrives to cast their mail-in ballot at the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh Monday, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
            
              Cecelia Peterson, the majority inspector for the Cranberry West 5 voting precinct, left, and clerk Fred Peterson set up some of the folding voting booth dividers in one of the rooms in the Cranberry Township Municipal Center that will be used for voting in Tuesday's Pennsylvania Primary Election, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Cranberry Township, Butler County, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
            
              A voter arrives to cast their mail-in ballot at the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh Monday, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
            
              Cecelia Peterson, the majority inspector for the Cranberry West 5 voting precinct, left, and clerk Fred Peterson set up some of the folding voting booth dividers in one of the rooms in the Cranberry Township Municipal Center that will be used for voting in Tuesday's Pennsylvania Primary Election, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Cranberry Township, Butler County, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
            
              A voter arrives to cast their mail-in ballot at the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh Monday, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
            
              Cecelia Peterson, the majority inspector for the Cranberry West 5 voting precinct, left, and clerk Fred Peterson set up some of the folding voting booth dividers in one of the rooms in the Cranberry Township Municipal Center that will be used for voting in Tuesday's Pennsylvania Primary Election, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Cranberry Township, Butler County, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
            
              A voter arrives to cast their mail-in ballot at the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh Monday, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
            
              Cecelia Peterson, the majority inspector for the Cranberry West 5 voting precinct, left, and clerk Fred Peterson set up some of the folding voting booth dividers in one of the rooms in the Cranberry Township Municipal Center that will be used for voting in Tuesday's Pennsylvania Primary Election, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Cranberry Township, Butler County, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
            
              A voter arrives to cast their mail-in ballot at the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh Monday, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
            
              Cecelia Peterson, the majority inspector for the Cranberry West 5 voting precinct, left, and clerk Fred Peterson set up some of the folding voting booth dividers in one of the rooms in the Cranberry Township Municipal Center that will be used for voting in Tuesday's Pennsylvania Primary Election, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Cranberry Township, Butler County, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
            
              A voter arrives to cast their mail-in ballot at the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh Monday, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
            
              Cecelia Peterson, the majority inspector for the Cranberry West 5 voting precinct, left, and clerk Fred Peterson set up some of the folding voting booth dividers in one of the rooms in the Cranberry Township Municipal Center that will be used for voting in Tuesday's Pennsylvania Primary Election, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Cranberry Township, Butler County, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
            
              A voter arrives to cast their mail-in ballot at the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh Monday, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
            
              Cecelia Peterson, the majority inspector for the Cranberry West 5 voting precinct, left, and clerk Fred Peterson set up some of the folding voting booth dividers in one of the rooms in the Cranberry Township Municipal Center that will be used for voting in Tuesday's Pennsylvania Primary Election, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Cranberry Township, Butler County, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
            
              A voter arrives to cast their mail-in ballot at the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh Monday, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
            
              Cecelia Peterson, the majority inspector for the Cranberry West 5 voting precinct, left, and clerk Fred Peterson set up some of the folding voting booth dividers in one of the rooms in the Cranberry Township Municipal Center that will be used for voting in Tuesday's Pennsylvania Primary Election, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Cranberry Township, Butler County, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
            
              David McCormick, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, speaks during a campaign stop in Lititz, Friday, May 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
            
              John Fetterman speaks to supporters at the Holy Hound Tap Room in downtown York, Pa., on Thursday, May. 12, 2022, while campaigning for U.S. Senate seat. (Mark Pynes/The Patriot-News via AP)
            
              Mehmet Oz, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, poses for a photograph with an attendee during his visit to a car show in Carlisle, Pa., Saturday, May 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
            
              Kathy Barnette, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, takes part in a forum in Newtown, Pa., Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
            
              Lou Barletta speaks at a news conference where he accepted the endorsement of a rival in Pennsylvania's crowded Republican primary for governor, Jake Corman, right, May 12, 2022, in Harrisburg, Pa. Corman's endorsement comes as GOP leaders warn that leading Republican primary candidate Doug Mastriano is too far right to win in a general election. (AP Photo/Marc Levy)

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — The last full day of campaigning in Pennsylvania’s hotly contested primaries for governor and U.S. Senate began Monday with a top Senate candidate in the hospital and establishment Republicans trying to stave off victories by candidates they worry will be unelectable in the fall.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is leading in polls and fundraising in the Democratic Party’s primary for U.S. Senate, remained in the hospital Monday after suffering a stroke right before the weekend.

His campaign said he won’t appear at Tuesday’s election night party in Pittsburgh, though Fetterman said Sunday that he is feeling better, expected to make a full recovery and will resume campaigning after getting some rest.

Meanwhile, new attack ads are airing against late-surging Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Barnette as many in the Republican Party establishment have begun trying to consolidate their support to prevent Doug Mastriano from winning the party’s gubernatorial nomination in the presidential battleground state.

Some Republicans fear Barnette and Mastriano are too polarizing to beat Democratic opponents in a general election. Barnette and Mastriano have campaigned together, endorsed each other and promoted conspiracy theories, including former President Donald Trump’s lies that widespread voter fraud cost him the 2020 election.

They also have spent a fraction of the money that some of their rivals have.

The scrambling reflects the high stakes of Tuesday’s elections in Pennsylvania and the uncertainty that has rattled the campaigns in the last week amid news of Fetterman’s hospitalization and last-minute jockeying in the Republican primaries.

In the governor’s race, an organization that has reported spending about $13 million to boost Republican candidate Bill McSwain, a lawyer who was Donald Trump’s appointee for U.S. attorney in Philadelphia, switched its allegiance to former congressman Lou Barletta barely two days before polls close.

Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs, a business advocacy group whose political action committees are conduits for cash from billionaire Jeffrey Yass, said it believes Barletta has the best chance to beat Mastriano. The group is now calling on McSwain to drop out and endorse Barletta.

Mastriano, newly endorsed by Trump, belittled efforts by Republicans to defeat him and characterizes Democrats, including President Joe Biden, as far-left radicals.

“The swamp struck back, but they struck and they failed, they missed, and Donald Trump came in in the midst of their conspiring with each other’s swamp-like creatures and endorsed me and cut the legs out from underneath them,” Mastriano said in an interview Monday with the Light of Liberty podcast.

Meanwhile, in the hard-fought Republican primary for U.S. Senate, Barnette worked to fend off growing attacks from former hedge fund CEO David McCormick and heart surgeon-turned-TV celebrity Mehmet Oz, Trump’s endorsed candidate.

Barnette said on conservative Breitbart Radio on Monday that “I’m not a globalist, both of them are” and that they have “very strong ties to the World Economic Forum,” an organization that has been the subject of right-wing conspiracy theories.

They are pretending to be “Trump card-carrying members of the patriot party,” she said, and she called Oz — he was born in the United States to parents who emigrated from Turkey and holds dual citizenship — “not only an American, but Turkish as well.”

“Globalist” is a derogatory term with an antisemitic origin adopted by Trump and others in his orbit to conjure up an elite, international coterie that doesn’t serve America’s best interests.

Barnette also suggested on Breitbart Radio that she would not support Oz or McCormick if they win the primary, saying, “I have no intentions of supporting globalists.”

However, she later seemed to contradict herself, telling reporters in Scranton: “I do believe they are globalists, and I find that very unnerving. But … I will do everything I can for the GOP in order to make sure we win, and make sure Democrats do not win.”

Trump’s endorsements of both Mastriano and Oz have twisted Pennsylvania’s Republican establishment into contradictions, as some warn that Mastriano is too far to the right to beat Democrat Josh Shapiro in the fall general election.

Trump himself has warned that Barnette cannot win in the fall — yet Mastriano is campaigning with her. In a telephone townhall Monday night with Oz, Trump warned that when Barnette is “vetted, it’s going to be a catastrophe for the party.”

With polls showing a late surge for Barnette, Trump’s attacks reflected an eleventh-hour behind-the-scenes scramble by Trump allies and rival campaigns to discredit her. If elected, she would be the first Black Republican woman to serve in the Senate.

On Monday, the Oz campaign sent out a 90-second robocall to Republican voters featuring Trump urging them to vote for Oz and attacking McCormick and Barnette as “not candidates who put America First,” Trump’s label for his governing philosophy.

In addition to new attack ads targeting Barnette, she is being asked about a history of incendiary comments, which include disparaging Muslims and gays. She said her Islamophobic tweets were taken out of context.

She is also being asked whether she was involved in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol after participating in Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally that day. She was not, she said.

“It’s confusing to understand Kathy Barnette. Every time she answers a question, she raises many more,” Oz said on the “Brian Kilmeade Show” on Fox News Radio.

Barnette, speaking to several dozen supporters at a Scranton hotel Monday evening, said her rivals are lying about her because she is winning.

“Do you really want to hear more smear attacks, more attacks, throwing people under the bus, using leftist-like tactics to try to destroy one of their own?” Barnette questioned.

McCormick, a decorated U.S. Army combat veteran who has strong connections to the party establishment going back to his service in President George W. Bush’s administration, has also been criticized repeatedly by Trump in the last two weeks.

Nevertheless, McCormick is closing the campaign by airing a TV ad showing a video clip of Trump in a private 2020 ceremony congratulating McCormick, saying “you’ve served our country well in so many different ways.”

“You know why he said that,” McCormick says in the TV ad. “Because it’s true. I risked my life for America and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. … I’m a pro-life, pro-gun, America First conservative and damn proud of it.”

___

Follow AP for full coverage of the midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ap_politics.

___

Levy reported from Harrisburg, Pa. Follow Marc Levy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/timelywriter

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

arrest...
Associated Press

Police: Washington officer shot, wounded while making arrest

Pasco Police in southeast Washington state said one of their officers was shot and wounded Thursday afternoon while making an arrest.
15 hours ago
State hospital...
Associated Press

7 die from flu in Washington state, activity ‘very high’

Flu activity in the state is now considered very high, according to the Washington State Department of Health.
15 hours ago
FILE - This image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) sho...
Associated Press

US plans end to mpox public health emergency in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government plans to end in January the public health emergency it declared earlier this year after an outbreak of mpox infected more than 29,000 people across the U.S. Mpox cases have plummeted in recent weeks, with just a handful of new infections being reported every week in the month of […]
2 days ago
FILE - A Dixie Valley toad is seen around the hot spring-fed wetland in the Dixie Valley in Fallon,...
Associated Press

Endangered listing for Nevada toad in geothermal power fight

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A tiny Nevada toad at the center of a legal battle over a geothermal power project has officially been declared an endangered species after U.S. wildlife officials temporarily listed it on a rarely-used emergency basis last spring. “This ruling makes final the listing of the Dixie Valley toad,” the U.S. Fish […]
2 days ago
FILE - Tennessee Valley Authority President Jeff Lyash speaks with the Chattanooga Times Free Press...
Associated Press

Utility recommends natural gas plant despite objections

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The nation’s largest public utility on Friday recommended replacing an aging coal burning power plant with natural gas, ignoring calls for the Tennessee Valley Authority to speed its transition to renewable energy. TVA announced the completion of its environmental impact statement for replacing the Cumberland Fossil Plant near Cumberland City, Tennessee. […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

How major US stock indexes fared Friday 12/2/2022

Worries about inflation weighed on Wall Street, leaving major indexes mixed after another bumpy day of trading. A government report showing that wage growth accelerated last month spooked investors since it could mean the Federal Reserve will be less able to ease up on its fight against inflation. The yield on the two-year Treasury, which […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Candidate in hospital, others scrambling before Pa. primary