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Pa. Senate GOP primary fight over ‘savior’ candidate’s business record

Businessman David McCormick, a possible main candidate within the Republican primary for Pennsylvania’s open US Senate seat, is drawing warmth over the layoffs of fifty Pittsburgh staff by a agency he ran in January 2003.

The on-line public sale service FreeMarkets Inc, which McCormick led as president from 2001 and as CEO from 2002, made the cuts weeks earlier than McCormick visited India in February 2003 and announced 100 job openings in New Delhi.

McCormick’s foes name it outsourcing. His pals name it realigning firm operations. But the layoffs are an early flashpoint in a wide-open Republican race whose area contains businesswoman and former Trump ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands — and doubtlessly Oprah Winfrey protégé Dr. Oz.

“McCormick made his fortune by destroying the lives of patriotic Pennsylvanians and shipping their jobs away to China and India for cheap labor,” a GOP operative concerned within the primary informed The Post. “Even worse, his firm Bridgewater Capital has billions of dollars invested in Communist China.”

But McCormick’s allies rushed to his protection and informed The Post that the Pittsburgh layoffs weren’t as intently linked to the India workplace opening because the timing suggests.

David McCormick
David McCormick is a possible main candidate within the Republican primary for Pennsylvania’s open US Senate seat.
Jay Mallin/Bloomberg by way of Getty Images

Karen Kovatch, the company communications director at FreeMarkets Inc on the time, mentioned that the corporate canned the US staff as a result of it was altering its focus and that the roles misplaced in Pittsburgh weren’t the identical as those created in India.

“Eighteen years ago, in 2003, FreeMarkets Inc realigned its operations to focus on customer-facing activities that would position the company more strongly for growth,” Kovatch mentioned. “As part of this, some administrative and managerial roles were unfortunately eliminated and the affected employees laid off. We later announced plans to establish a Market Operations Center in India to support online auctions for our customers on a 24/7 basis. The two moves were totally unrelated, and the opening of the India office resulted in no layoffs of American workers.”

Many Pennsylvania Republicans view McCormick as a attainable “savior” and the most effective probability to maintain the seat in GOP fingers after the retirement of Sen. Pat Toomey. McCormick and his rivals acquired a lift Monday when Trump-backed Sean Parnell suspended his marketing campaign Monday after a choose awarded custody of his kids to his estranged spouse, who had alleged abuse throughout their custody fight.

The forty fifth president had endorsed Parnell in September, and it was not instantly clear Monday whether or not Trump would again one other contender.

“David McCormick will quickly emerge as the frontrunner,” Greg Manz, a former spokesperson for the state Republican Party, lately told Politico. “His public policy bona fides are second to none and he will showcase a preeminent fundraising prowess.”

The full moon shines over a portion of Pittsburgh's skyline where the city's Gulf Tower at left is illuminated beside the peak of the Koppers building on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2000.
The on-line public sale service FreeMarkets Inc made the cuts weeks earlier than David McCormick visited India in February 2003 and introduced 100 job openings in New Delhi.
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

But the primary is dividing Trump allies and clarifying a broader battle over the course of the conservative motion, with McCormick’s detractors branding him a “globalist” who places business forward of the blue-collar considerations within the Rust Belt that fueled Trump’s 2016 upset victory.

McCormick is married to former Trump White House official Dina Powell McCormick, a Goldman Sachs govt who beforehand served as a deputy nationwide safety adviser.

His allies aren’t taking assaults on his profession flippantly.

“When we bought FreeMarkets, Dave insisted on keeping jobs in Pittsburgh,” says Bob Calderoni, the previous CEO of Ariba, which purchased FreeMarkets in 2004. “It really mattered to him as part of the transaction. In fact, he pushed for us to move jobs from California to Pittsburgh. Dave was one of the most important leaders in the revitalization of Pittsburgh — he worked hard to create and save jobs in the city.”

At the time of the sale, there have been about 500 workers at FreeMarkets’ Pittsburgh workplace.

Dr. Mehmet Oz
Dr. Oz is a possible candidate for the sphere of Republican candidates.
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

“As an early investor and board member at FreeMarkets, I saw firsthand the company’s explosive growth, and particularly Dave’s role in creating and importing many hundreds of jobs in the Pittsburgh economy,” says Sean Sebastian, a accomplice at enterprise capital agency Birchmere Ventures.

“His and the company’s accomplishments were foundational to the next generation of tech startups in the region, with many FreeMarkets alums now in leadership roles in dozens of companies,” Sebastian added.

Democrats even have a crowded primary, with candidates together with US Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) — who defeated Parnell in 2020 and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.

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