The campaign of David McCormick, one of the top two finishers in Pennsylvania’s yet-to-be-named Republican Senate primaries, recently hired a GOP agent known for his expertise in the dark arts of challenging election results.
According to federal election records, on April 21, the McCormick campaign paid $7,000 to the company headed by the agent, Mike Roman, for “consulting services.”
Mr. McCormick, a former hedge fund director, is separated by just over 1,000 votes from Dr. Mehmet Oz, the preferred choice of former President Donald J. Trump. Election officials have not yet declared a winner and are unlikely to do so anytime soon. Both campaigns are preparing for the possibility of a bloody vote re-examination.
Mr. Roman was the director of operations on Election Day for Mr. Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, and he later played a key role in bringing forward claims of voter fraud in Pennsylvania, which courts repeatedly ruled to be unfounded.
In February, Mr. Roman received a subpoena from the House Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol. The committee said it had received communications indicating its “commitment to a coordinated strategy to contact Republican members of state legislatures in certain states that former President Trump had lost and urged them to reclaim their authority through an alternate list.” of voters.”
Roman worked closely with Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, who promoted baseless conspiracy theories and unsuccessfully pushed for the reversal of President Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania.
Mr Roman’s hiring, which has not been previously reported, suggests that Mr McCormick’s campaign was preparing for a potentially lengthy battle, even before primary primary Tuesday. It also means that an agent who helped Mr Trump wipe out the 2020 election results will now face a candidate backed by the former president.
In a message on Wednesday on his Truth Social website, Mr. Trump urged Dr. Oz to “declare victory”.
“It makes it much more difficult for them to cheat on the ballots they ‘accidentally found,'” Mr Trump added, although no evidence of any wrongdoing by the McCormick campaign or his allies has been found.
Pennsylvania law requires a recount if the election results are within half a percentage point.
“It seems almost certain to me that the vote will be within 0.5 percent,” said Bruce Marks, a lawyer who filed an amicus brief on behalf of Mr Trump in 2020 contesting the Pennsylvania election results, along with John Eastman, an academic who was heavily involved in the former president’s failed attempt to name his own electoral roll in several key states.
mr. Marks said he was not hired by either campaign, although he is close to Mr. Roman state. In 1993, Mr. roman mr. Marks to nullify a Pennsylvania Senate election after alleging the results had been tainted by voter fraud.
The full scope of Mr Roman’s duties was not immediately clear on Thursday afternoon, although two people familiar with his hirings said he had been called in at least partially to assist with the possibility of a disputed outcome. Mr Roman did not respond to a request for comment.
When asked about Mr. Roman’s responsibilities, Jess Szymanski, the McCormick campaign press secretary, said she needed to check. “We have a lot of lawyers all over the state,” she said.
During a background conversation with reporters on Thursday, a senior McCormick campaign official argued that the combination of votes outstanding in several counties, plus military ballots yet to be counted, would put Mr. McCormick ahead. However, the McCormick campaign expects a recount.
Oz’s campaign also projects victory, citing the fact that Dr. Oz led Mr. McCormick as of Thursday afternoon in the official statewide tally.