While Oz held a razor-thin lead Wednesday morning, advisers to McCormick were confident of their candidate’s path to victory.
An adviser to Oz pointed to ballots yet to be counted in Philadelphia, where the candidate currently holds a double-digit edge, as well as several counties across the eastern edge of the commonwealth where he is leading McCormick.
“It’s a jump ball,” the Oz adviser told CNN.
It appeared to be a mixed night for the former President, who has been preoccupied with trying to pick winners in midterm contests ahead of a possible 2024 White House bid. One of the candidates he backed in an 11th-hour endorsement — Pennsylvania Republican Doug Mastriano, who championed his election lies — will win the gubernatorial nod in the Keystone State, CNN projected.
Election denier wins Pennsylvania gubernatorial primary
In a state that was pivotal to the 2020 election, Mastriano is seeking an office that would allow him sway over the state’s electors in the 2024 presidential contest. He will face Democrat Josh Shapiro, the current state attorney general, in November.
In a taste of the bruising race to come, Shapiro immediately put out a statement Tuesday night calling Mastriano “a dangerous extremist who wants to take away our freedoms,” charging that the Republican would seek to “restrict the vote and spread conspiracy theories.”
In his victory speech Tuesday night, Mastriano rejected the “extreme” label, arguing that Democrats’ Covid-19 public health measures were extreme.
“On day one, any mandates are gone. On day one, any jab for job requirements are gone,” he said to cheers. “There is a movement here that is going to shock the state this November.”
Madison Cawthorn loses
Cawthorn, the controversial freshman congressman backed by Trump, conceded his North Carolina primary to state Sen. Chuck Edwards on Tuesday evening, according to Cawthorn’s spokesperson.
Cawthorn’s concession marked a stunningly quick fall for a young conservative once viewed as a potential star within the GOP after he succeeded Mark Meadows, who left Congress to become chief of staff to Trump.
North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis had backed Edwards, telling CNN it was the first time in his career that he’d opposed a sitting Republican.
Edwards confirmed the concession call in remarks to supporters Tuesday night.
“I received a call from Congressman Cawthorn just a few minutes ago. Just as I expected, he presented himself in a very classy and humble way and offered his support to our campaign in absolutely anyway that we can use him.”
Democrat Cheri Beasley, who was the first Black woman to lead the North Carolina Supreme Court as chief justice, will be the party’s Senate nominee in the state, CNN projected Tuesday. Her main rivals had dropped out of the primary before Tuesday.
A test for Biden too
Schrader pushed an alternative provision and ultimately voted for the full bill, but not before joining a group of nine moderates in an effort to decouple it from the bipartisan infrastructure bill — a tactical step that ultimately helped doom Build Back Better, Biden’s would-be signature legislation — in the Senate.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story mischaracterized the potential historic significance of Barnette winning the Pennsylvania Senate seat. She would become the first Black Republican woman elected to the Senate.
CNN’s Greg Krieg and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this story.