Senate Candidates for May 17th Primaries


Courtesy of Central Bylines.

The Pennsylvania Primary Elections will happen on May 17th, 2022. One of the positions that people are running for is Senator, in order to place Senator Pat Toomey (R). Below is an informational guide to the candidates in order to help inform voters to establish who they’d like to support.


John Fetterman (D) is a 52 year old from York, PA. He currently holds the position of Lt. Governor in PA. When he was 23, he worked with a Big Brothers/Sisters organization for mentoring programs. He then joined AmeriCorps to work in Pittsburg. He then went to Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and graduated with a Master of Public Policy. He started a GED program in Braddock, PA and then became the mayor there. Criminal justice reform is very important to him, as is the legalization of marijuana. While in office as Lt. Governor, he worked to change the pardon system, and believes in working against mass incarceration. He sees discriminatory imprisonment a major issue that he would like to face as a Senator. Another priority for him is social justice; he supports protection of the LGBTQIA+ community and the BLM movement. Even before they were legalized, Fetterman officiated same-sex marriages. One thing that Fetterman would like to do if elected is push to get the minimum wage raised to at least $15 per hour. He wants to help with climate change related issues and signed the “No Fossil Fuel Money” pledge. While in office, he opposed environmentally racist policies. He stands for taking big business out of politics. He also values unions and their role in our society. He is a strong supporter of unions and workers’ strikes, and even helped to fundraise for the workers from Kellog during a strike they were having. He went to work with strikers from Eire-Strayer as well. Fetterman is pro-choice as well. He sees gun violence as a major issue as well. He says that “Immigration makes America, America,” and fully supports immigrants coming into the US.

Connor Lamb (D), is a 37 year old University of Pennsylvania and Penn Law graduate. He has spent time in the marines as well as in the position of federal prosecutor. In this role, he prosecuted people for violent and drug charges. Now, he is a congressman and represents PA’s 17th district, which includes parts of the suburbs of Pittsburgh as well as Beaver County. While in office under the Trump administration, he voted to cut taxes, being one out of only three democrats to do so. Lamb now supports an assault rifle ban, but in 2018 he voted against one. He wants to create a standard for background checks to combat our country’s major gun violence issue. That being said, he also stands by the second amendment right and believes that everyone should have the right to bear arms, including himself who once released a campaigner ad in which he was holding a gun. He wants to support Medicare and Social Security, as well as raise the minimum wage to $15. In particular, Lamb views the current minimum wage as an issue in terms of police officers, who he sees as doing difficult work and deserving of higher pay. He does not support Medicare for all because he believes it is too expensive. Lamb also plans to lower prescription drug prices, and create more jobs for Pennsylvanians while supporting union work as well. He did not accept any money from corporate PACs due to his belief that this money being in government creates problems. This relates to his goal of finance reform as well. He wants to beat other countries in the rush to save our planet. Lamb wants to do this with the help of solar, wind, and nuclear energy. He says that he believes in both decriminalizing marijuana and criminal justice reform. During his time in government he helped to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. He wants to “focus on violent crime” and do preventative work with our youth. Another fact about Lamb is that he is pro-choice. He cosponsored the “Equality Act” which prohibits sexual orientation and gender identity/expression based discrimination, and if elected would like to get this signed and in actiion as soon as possible. He is viewed as running as a moderate or centrist. Lastly, Lamb views Biden’s administration as a success.

Malcom Kenyatta (D) is a 31 year old Pennsylvania State Representative since 2019. He has degrees from both Temple University and Drexel University and is Philadelphia born and raised. Kenyatta was the first LGBTQ+ person of color elected to the PA General Assembly. He was also a part of the governor’s task force for suicide prevention. He wants to work for economic fairness and racial justice, face the climate crisis, and support all Pennsylvanias (no matter their identity). In his time in government, he has worked on proposals that face generational poverty, raise minimum wage, protect workers, improve healthcare (specifically for mental health), stop gun violence, and protect digital infrastructure. Kenyatta was also a delegate at the Democratic National Convention in both 2016 and 2020. Given his experience growing up in an economically challenged, working-class family, he knows first hand what economic struggle Pennsylvanians are dealing with. He wants to focus the economically challenged, especially as the country emerges from the pandemic that has intensified many economic struggles. One way Kenyatta would like to do this is by giving forgivable loans to PA small businesses. He wants to work on criminal justice reform so that people’s safety is put before punishments. He is the co-chair of PA Climate Power, and would like to establish more sustainable communities in PA. Along with that, he wants to invest in green technology and work against new fracking and big oil/gas companies. He also supports expanding democracy, healthcare for all, unions, LGBTQ+ rights, and immigration reform. Not only is Kenyatta pro-choice, but he also wants to make sure abortions are affordable because if they are expensive, they aren’t accesible to everyone.

Alexandria Khalil (D) is from New Jersey and grew up in New York. Her parents are Muslim immigrants from Palestine. Similarly to the other Democratic candidates, Khalil is pro-choice. She also wants to support justice and human rights. Khalil believes in Medicare for all, ending price gouging (with prescription drugs), addressing issues in childbirth (including the high mortality rates for Black women during childbirth). She wants to work to “end homelessness” and “end food insecurity.” She also wants to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr and establish overall better circumstances for workers. Khalil would like to initiate a task force for mass distribution of the covid vaccine in an equitable way. She wants to protect children— especially those in the foster care system— and rebuild the public school system. She believes in ending solitary confinement for anyone under the age of 21. Khalil wants to help our climate by working on regenerative farming, high speed rails, more regulation on mining, abandoned mine reclamation, and turning old coal mines into geothermal systems or battery storage facilities and more. She also wants to include more indigenous people in conversations about pipelines and such. She did not accept any money from PACs. Khalil also strongly believes in justice in our policing and court system.

Carla Sands (R), 61 years old, is from Camp Hill, PA. She used to be an actress and a socialite. During the Trump administration she worked as the ambassador to Denmark. She also worked to support the election of Trump because she loves his “America first” ideology. She was also on Trump’s Economic Advisory Council. She promotes herself as someone who worked her way up and earned her success. She is the CEO of Vintage Capital Group. She would like for the US to develop more security against Russia and China. Sands wants to suppress efforts relating to the Green New Deal, which she states is a “war on PA farmers and the energy sector.” She plans to ban critical race theory. Sands believes in providing people with more job opportunities and fighting inflation and socialism. She stands firmly with the second amendment and doesn’t not want to push gun control. She does want the US to assert more dominance on the global stage when it comes to energy. She views immigrants as a threat. She wants to finish Trump’s border wall because she believes that immigrants from South America are bringing in fentanyl. Sands has immense support for the police and policing system. She is pro-life and quoted as saying, “pray for the end of Roe v Wade.”

David McCormick (R), 56 years old, is from Bloomsburg, PA. He went to the West Point Military Academy. He was in the army and a paratrooper and spent time in combat. He later went on to get a PhD from Princeton. He then continued his work in foreign affairs. McCormick then became Co-CEO of Bridgewater Associates (an investment management company). In office he wants to stop Biden’s economic management programs. He wants to provide people in the working class with lower taxes and make more pipelines and pipeline jobs. He sees coal as a good energy source and opportunity. He believes that people need to stand up against communism in China. He believes that the US deserves reparations—from China— for the Covid outbreak, as he views them as the culprits. McCormick doesn’t support any further Covid-related mandates because he thinks that they are hurting our children. Along with his other beliefs about Covid, McCormick does not trust Dr. Fauci. He did not believe that the US should have withdrawn from Afghanistan.With his military background, he thinks that the US needs to advance their military strength and dominance. McCormick wants to work to reduce “crime in our cities.” He thinks that cities have too much fentanyl (and other drugs) present in them. McCormick says that “Defund the Police” movements are leading to more crime in our cities – crime that is creeping into the suburbs.” He also believes in election integrity, is pro-life, and does not believe in gun control. He believes in limited terms and states that he will only serve for two years. He strongly supports veterans. Lastly, McCormick states that he plans to “stand up against the wokeness taking over our schools, big businesses, and the media.”

Jeff Bartos (R) is 48 years old and grew up in Montgomery County, PA. Previously, he ran for Lt. Governor and lost to Fetterman. He was also formerly a practicing lawyer. He ran a campaign to help “restore hope”after the opioid crisis and also founded the PA 30-Day Fund, which helps provide forgivable loans to small businesses that struggled because of covid. Bartos also says that he wouldn’t have voted for the Covid relief bill that just recently passed because it is a “grab bag bill.” He blames teacher unions for schools not opening during Covid and says that schools were closed “for no good reason other than politics.” Bartos wants Governor Wolf to lift all Covid mandates and let people live their lives. Additionally, he thinks that Florida, Texas, and South Carolina are the states that handled Covid correctly. He thinks that Trump should continue to play a role in the Republican Party. He believes the Supreme Court in PA has been acting unconstitutionally and too partisan. He also thinks that democrats suppressed Green Party voters in previous elections to give themselves an unfair boost. Bartos views democrats in office as the reason for the rise of mental health issues and addiction during the pandemic in PA. He also only supports abortion if there was rape or incest involved.

Dr. Mehmet Oz (R), 61 years old, graduated from University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and is originally from Ohio. He is currently the Senate candidate that is endorsed by Donald Trump. Oz has dual citizenship in the US and Turkey. He used to host a tv show called the “Dr. Oz show.” He is known for using forms of alternative medication. He was previously a practicing surgeon and physician. Oz lives in Bryn-Athyn, PA. His parents are both immigrants. Oz has a strong stance against immigrants from South America though and would like to build the wall. He sees China as a threat. Oz is a gun owner himself, and would like to protect the 2nd amendment. He also wants to address and fight “cancel culture”, as he sees it as a breach of free speech. Oz aims to produce more energy in the US. He does not agree with the defunding the police because he trusts current law-enforcement systems. He is also pro-life, only supporting abortion when it is needed to sav the mother’s life. Oz agrees with the recent overturning of Roe v Wade.

Kathy Barnette (R), 50 years old, has degrees from both Fontbonne University and Troy University. She is a veteran, author, and former adjunct-professor. She wrote a book called, Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: Being Black and Conservative in America. She is against vaccine mandates and thinks parents deserves autonomy over if their children should get vaccinated. Barnette stands with the McCarron-Ferguson Act (which promotes regulation and taxation of insurance) and wants to put health care in the hands of the states. Barnette promotes lowering rates of fraud and abuse of the Medicare system. She also wants less people enrolled in Medicaid so that it is only used to help those who are truly in need. Barnette believes in medical freedom, meaning that the patient has control over what they want to happen to their bodies. This being said, the only exception to her pro-life values is when abortion is needed to save the mother’s life. Barnette says that as a Senator, she will not vote to send Americans to fight a war that is “someone else’s,” and that she will vote to get rid of oil and gas restrictions. She strongly supports American energy independence. She also wants to promote moving up on the wealth ladder, like she herself did. Barnette feels that the Biden administration and democrats’ open border policies are dangerous and counterproductive. She does not support immigrants and wants to work on the border wall to keep immigrants from the South and drug cartels out of the US. Barnette believes that Biden is incompetent as a president. She views China as the US’s #1 threat. She also does not want to raise taxes.

Sean Gale (R) went to Temple University and Drexel University. He studied health care, pharmaceuticals, and business. He has a background as a lawyer and a business and health care attorney. Gale got into politics through his stance on abortion issues with his brother, Joe Gale (currently running for Governor), saying “Joe and I are pro-life Catholics.” He is a major supporter of Trump, and views the democratic attempt to impeach trump as “bogus.” Gale believes that both democrats and republicans have abandoned the American people. He stands against Barnette because he says that she is “pulling the race card.” He also doesn’t support Jeff Bartos or Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. He thinks that he can bring in a “conservative backbone” in the US government if elected. He is not a supporter of open borders and sees America as having a border crisis created by republicans who voted against Trump’s wall. Gale also does not support those who he deems “radical left-wing democrats” because he believes that they have “friends overseas in socialist Europe and communist China.” He wants to use lots of natural gas from Pennsylvania to supply the US and other countries. Another thing that is important to him is the Pennsylvania agriculture system. Gale believes that Covid has been handled poorly and that children were overly protected and seniors weren’t protected enough. When asked about his views on transgender women in sports, he made it clear that he continues to see them as men. He thinks the January 6th Insurrection was caused by Americans not having enough faith in our systems of election, believing that this was caused by distrust created by the mail-in ballot system. Lastly, Gale doesn’t believe in student loan debt forgiveness because people need to pay back their debts.

George Bochetto (R), is 69 years old and went to the University of Albany for an undergrad degree and then went to Temple Law School. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, and spent six years in an orphanage there. Bochetto started his career in law in PA. This year, Bochetto went to court to stop Philadelphia from getting rid of a Columbus statue on Marconi Plaza and won. He fought for this because he views it as a symbol of Italian pride as well as heritage that should not be taken down by those he has deemed the “woke mob.” Bochetto does not support illegal immigration. He wants to work on public safety by imprisoning more people who commit violent crimes. He has focused on crime in his campaigns and policy promises. He was the Pennsylvania State Boxing Commissioner and made a lot of changes in the organization during his time there. Bochetto sees himself as a fighter, an attitude he believes helped him during his work in courtrooms. He wants to lower government spending, inflation, and taxes. Bochetto is pro-life and only supports abortion if it is necessary to save the mother’s life. He said that “if there was abortion (at the time of his birth), I wouldn’t be here.” His website states that we should “stop radical policies like critical race theory from being taught in public schools.” He wants the US to be more independent when it comes to energy. Bochetto also believes that liberals are censoring conservative views on the internet and that this needs to end. Lastly, he thinks that the US needs to stand against the Communist Party of China and view them as our enemies.