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MEMO: Senate Republican Recruits Have a Candidate Quality Problem

May 28, 2024
TO: Interested Parties.
FROM: David Bergstein, DSCC Communications Director.
RE: Senate Republican recruits have a candidate quality problem.


Senate Republicans once again have a “candidate quality” problem with their recruits

Their candidates were already known for being carpetbaggers with “rich people problems” and “suspect ties to the states they’re running in.” 

Now the damaging revelations emerging about the GOP’s Senate recruits have grown to include their lies about their biographies on the campaign trail, scandals stemming from their finances and a lifetime of unvetted statements and policy positions.

That’s prompted analysis from the Associated Press, Roll Call and others detailing how Senate Republicans are “elevating untested candidates who might not be prepared for the scrutiny,” that GOP recruits are “feeling the heat in the media,” and how “in Senate races, GOP haunted anew with ‘candidate quality’ issues.”

See for yourself:

In Montana

  • Vanity Fair reported Sheehy lied about being a rancher, citing Montanans who describe him as a “Wannabe Cowboy,” while NBC reported how Sheehy is “a threat to public land access.”
  • The Daily Beast reported Sheehy lied about growing up in rural Minnesota, and how he started his business, and that his story of leaving the military is “contradicted by Sheehy’s own written account.”


In Ohio

  • The New York Times reported Bernie Moreno “tells a riches-to-rags-to-riches tale. But the reality isn’t so tidy” – he engaged in “a calculated process of self-creation,” lying about his upbringing, his immigration story and even his housing. 
  • The Guardian reported Moreno lied about his family fleeing socialism. 
  • Spectrum News reported Moreno lied about refusing to sell Chinese-made cars. 
  • The Columbus Dispatch reported Moreno lied about closing the Confucius Institute in Cleveland, part of a “string of inconsistencies” about his biography. 
  • Business Insider detailed how Moreno shredded documents to avoid paying employees overtime. 


In Pennsylvania:

  • The Associated Press reported McCormick lied about living in Pennsylvania. 
  • The New York Times reported McCormick lied about growing up on a farm under “modest” circumstances, giving “a misleading impression about key aspects of his background.”
  • CNN reported McCormick oversaw a 108,000% increase in Chinese investments, Bloomberg reported McCormick directed investments in Chinese military companies and HuffPost reported McCormick “Profited From China Trade Policies He Helped Shape.”


In Wisconsin:   

  • The New York Times reported Hovde’s California bank was sued for elder abuse at a senior living facility it owned, underscoring how “Hovde may be developing a problem with older voters.” 


In Arizona

  • Where to begin? The Republic wrote “Lake’s chances of winning…seem dimmer by the day.” 
  • The Copper Courier revealed she wants sheriffs to enforce the 1864 abortion ban. 
  • and The Washington Post reported that even Trump is turned off by her out-of-state travel.  


In Nevada

  • The Los Angeles Times reported Brown supported allowing nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain, “a third rail in Nevada politics.”
  • Newsweek reported Brown filled out a questionnaire opposing abortion without exceptions.

In Michigan

  • The Detroit News reported Rogers enriched himself through ties to Chinese companies.
  • Business Insider reported Rogers got rich going through “the revolving door,” while The gander reported “Rogers voted against reining in special interests.”

  • The Michigan Advance reported Rogers has been living in Florida.

The bottom line: It’s only May, and it’s already clear Senate Republicans recruited inferior candidates they failed to vet. Their lies and liabilities pose major vulnerabilities and will form an important part of the case Democrats will utilize to disqualify GOP Senate candidates with voters in each race.

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