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Politics & Government

Cash flows to US Senate rivals of Trump's endorsed candidate in Pennsylvania

Keith Srakocic
Jeff Bartos, right, ran as a lieutenant governor candidate in 2018, on the gubernatorial ticket of Scott Wagner, left. Wagner said Friday that he has pledged $1.5 million to the Bartos-aligned Jobs For Our Future PAC.

An endorsement by former President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania’s hotly contested U.S. Senate race isn’t backing down rival Republicans, with one putting up millions for her campaign and another getting a seven-figure pledge from a donor.

Carla Sands, Trump’s ambassador to Denmark, loaned her campaign $3 million, according to her first federal fundraising report due Friday. Sands has significant personal wealth left over from her and her late husband's California-based real estate investment firm.

Another candidate, real estate investor Jeff Bartos, could see significant help from a super PAC supporting him.

Scott Wagner, the GOP's gubernatorial nominee in 2018, said Friday that he has pledged $1.5 million to the Bartos-aligned Jobs For Our Future PAC, and could give more in the future to help Bartos.

Trump last month endorsed Sean Parnell, a decorated former Army Ranger who penned a memoir of his service in Afghanistan, which became a New York Times bestseller.

Wagner said he doesn't know how much weight Trump's endorsement holds.

“I don't necessarily think it’s a slam dunk because of an endorsement,” Wagner said. “Right now, the political winds are shifting pretty quickly."

The contest for Pennsylvania's open U.S. Senate seat could be among the nation's most competitive next year.

The Democratic field is also crowded. John Fetterman, Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor, reported nearly $4.2 million cash in his campaign account as of Sept. 30.