PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Republican nomination race to replace US Senator Pat Toomey intensifies, as Republican Jeff Bartos accuses fellow Republican Sean Parnell of being “unelected.”
In an interview seen only on KDKA, political editor Jon Delano asked Bartos about this claim and his own candidacy.
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Bartos, a Montgomery County real estate developer, was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for lieutenant governor three years ago. Now he is running to be the GOP Senate candidate in 2022.
“If we had more sane businessmen in the Senate, we would be making smarter decisions,” Bartos said on Monday afternoon.
Parnell, the Afghan war veteran who narrowly lost to U.S. Representative Conor Lamb last year, is Bartos’ main opponent. Parnell has just been approved by former President Donald Trump.
Delano: Do you think President Trump’s endorsement matters in a race for the US Senate?
Bartos: Well, we haven’t actively sought approval. So I guess actions speak much louder than words. I have great respect for what the former president and his team did to move our country forward.
Bartos is unwilling to accept the big lie Trump won, and the suburban Philadelphia Republican does not tolerate the January 6 violence.
âI was very disturbed by what I saw on January 6,â Bartos said. “Joe Biden won the state of Pennsylvania and Joe Biden won the presidency.”
Bartos paid the bus passengers $ 1,000 for what turned into a violent attack on the United States Capitol.
Delano: As far as you know, were any of the people on that bus involved in any of the illegal activities that took place?
Bartos: I have no knowledge. I sent a contribution to the gentleman who organized it because I think he has done a great job in the last five years that I have known him.
As for Parnell, who appears frequently in cable news, Bartos noted, âI don’t go to Washington to go on talk shows, to give sound bites, to fight to build a brand.
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Bartos’ biggest accusation against Parnell is that he is “ineligible” for the general election.
“I didn’t take any joy, I certainly didn’t take any pleasure in raising these issues,” Bartos said.
In his first TV interview since posting a memo titled “Parnell’s Disturbing History,” Bartos defended his attack on fellow Republican Parnell.
âSean is not eligible. And so, as Republicans, we can’t run a candidate who can’t win a general election. We have to occupy this seat, âBartos said.
In his memo, Bartos calls Parnell a “poison pill in the suburbs of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh” because of Parnell’s comments about women in cable news and court documents filed in contentious divorce proceedings.
âI strongly believe Sean is not eligible,â Bartos said.
Delano: And why is he ineligible?
Bartos: I think as we said, past statements and documents that we have drawn your attention to make it ineligible.
Delano: Yes, but you are not telling me precisely what you get from these documents which make it ineligible.
Bartos: I will stick to what I said before.
Bartos’ refusal to elaborate on his claims on camera prompted this response from the Parnell campaign:
âIf Jeff Bartos had a fraction of the integrity of Sean Parnell, he would drop out of the race. He’s a low-key man for serious moments and has shown he has nothing to do as a Republican for the United States Senate. “
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With strong words from both sides at this early stage of the campaign, one can only imagine how even more negative it will be before Republicans pick their Senate candidate next May.