Happy Friday! Some bittersweet news: Today is Audrey’s last day at The Dispatch. Stay tuned for her next steps. Some exciting news: Andrew is returning from paternity leave and will be in your inboxes next week!
Up to Speed
- Federal prosecutors on Thursday indicted Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, on federal gun charges, court documents show, a development that could complicate the president’s reelection campaign. The indictment charges Hunter with three felony counts, including lying to a federally licensed gun dealer about his drug use, making false statements about said drug use on a government form, and unlawfully possessing a gun. It follows the collapse of a plea deal this summer between Hunter and federal prosecutors, and comes days after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced he is directing three GOP-led House committees to lead an impeachment inquiry that will investigate whether President Joe Biden favorably influenced or profited off of his son’s foreign business dealings.
- Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the Republicans’ 2012 presidential nominee who also served one term as Massachusetts governor, announced in a video Wednesday he will not seek reelection in 2024. “At the end of another term I’d be in my mid-eighties; frankly it’s time for a new generation of leaders,” Romney says in the video announcement. He also chastises President Joe Biden and former President Trump for not taking seriously a number of serious threats facing the country, including climate change, rising deficits and debt, entitlement spending, and the rise of Russia and China. Check out this must-read essay from McKay Coppins that paints a lonely picture of Romney’s time in the Senate.
- The period for Republicans (and Democrats) to file candidacy papers to run in New Hampshire’s “first in the nation” presidential primary opens October 11 and closes October 27, the state’s top election official, Secretary of State David M. Scanlan, announced this week. The New Hampshire primary will occur sometime early next year.
- Sen. Tim Scott is up with two new television advertisements in Iowa. The South Carolina Republican trails in primary polls but has shown some promise in the Hawkeye State, whose January 15 caucuses will mark the kickoff of the GOP’s 2024 nominating contest. In one spot, Scott promotes hard work as the key to the American dream; in the second ad, the senator vows to put parents in charge of their children’s education in public schools.
Dave McCormick to Launch Senate Campaign Next Thursday in Pittsburgh
Ex-Bridgewater CEO Dave McCormick plans to announce a 2024 Republican primary bid for U.S. Senate next Thursday, September 21, in Pittsburgh, two sources familiar with the matter tell The Dispatch. It’s a boon to Senate Republicans who are eager to flip Democrats’ 51-seat majority.
McCormick’s long-anticipated launch comes over a year after he lost the Pennsylvania GOP’s Senate GOP to heart surgeon and Donald Trump-endorsed television celebrity Mehmet Oz by less than 1,000 votes. Oz went on to lose the general election to now-Sen. John Fetterman, a Democrat.
His formal decision comes as welcome news to Pennsylvania Republicans who are eager to oust three-term Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr., the son of a former two-term governor. The younger Casey won his most recent reelection in 2018 by 13 points.