Dave McCormick to attend event with Moms for Liberty and Betsy DeVos

Dave McCormick

U.S. Senate Republican candidate in Pennsylvania Dave McCormick speaks at a meet and greet with Pennsylvania judicial candidates at County Corvette in West Chester, Pa., Monday, Oct. 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Ryan Collerd)

By Sean Kitchen

May 29, 2024

Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick will participate in a “fireside chat” with Moms for Liberty on Wednesday. In 2023, they lost two-thirds of their school board races.

Dave McCormick is planning on speaking at a “fireside chat” with members of Moms for Liberty and former US Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in Nazareth on Wednesday. This comes less than one year since the anti-LGBTQ organization suffered embarrassing defeats across Pennsylvania and the rest of the country.

McCormick is a former Connecticut-based hedge fund manager and is running against US Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn) in the upcoming election, and according to the group’s website, McCormick and DeVos will talk about “the impact of boys in girls sports and locker rooms and of the new Title IX changes.”

“Moms for Liberty has been classified as a far-right extremist organization by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and their whole tactic is to not have children feel safe and secure and welcomed in schools,” Ronna Dewey, the Pennsylvania program director for Red, Wine and Blue, explained in an interview.

“They don’t want all children to feel that way. They only seem to want some children to be able to feel that way, and that is evident through their focus on book bans and curriculum and really specifically seeming to be discriminatory against LGBTQ kids.”

Dewey added, “Dave McCormick aligning himself with [Moms for Liberty] tells me that he believes those things too.”

A 2021 story by the Associated Press examined bills designed to exclude transgender students from participating in school sports, and out of the two dozen state lawmakers that introduced these bills, almost none of them were able to cite any instances of transgender students playing sports.

“The number of transgender or gender expansive kids playing sports in schools in Pennsylvania, I couldn’t tell you what a number is specifically, but I can tell you it’s not a lot, if any. And they are focusing, creating solutions to where there are no problems right now,” Dewey said.

Mom’s for Liberty backed over 130 candidates for school board races last year, and according to The Keystone, they lost two-third of those races. Democrats defeated all of the Moms for Liberty backed school board candidates in the Central Bucks and Pennridge School Districts and flipped control of the school boards last year.

The two school districts became flashpoints over the past few years when the school boards passed book bans, marginalized LGBTQ students and teachers, banned transgender athletes from participating in sports and whitewashed the history of slavery and the civil war.

Following last year’s election, the Moms for Liberty chapter in Lehigh County folded after membership dwindled from 200 members during the height of the pandemic to three at the beginning of 2024.

“David McCormick makes his priorities clear by showing Pennsylvanians who he stands with: insurrectionists, anti-choice extremists, and now fringe far-right groups and Betsy DeVos, who made it harder to investigate sexual assaults on college campuses,” TaNish Cameron, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, said in a statement. “McCormick is out-of-touch with Pennsylvanians and voters will reject him in November.”


  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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