David McCormick has long traveled in elite financial and political circles, most recently leading the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates. He served as a high-ranking Treasury official in President George W. Bush’s administration and previously ran other businesses in Pittsburgh.

McCormick, 56, is using his background as a West Point graduate, Army veteran, and native Pennsylvanian — though one who until very recently lived in Connecticut — as the backbone of his Republican campaign for U.S. Senate. He’s one of the GOP front-runners in his first bid for elected office.

» READ MORE: Get to know the 2022 candidates for Pa. Senate and governor

What is David McCormick’s background?

McCormick’s resume is filled with big jobs and name-brand institutions. Raised in Bloomsburg, he went to West Point and earned a Bronze Star while serving in the first Gulf War. McCormick then received a doctorate from Princeton University, and led a software business in Pittsburgh, FreeMarkets. He had several jobs in the Bush administration, including as the treasury department’s under secretary for international affairs, leading U.S. economic policy abroad during the 2008 financial crisis.

After leaving the Bush administration he was recruited to Bridgewater, and in 2019 he became the fund’s sole chief executive, after previously sharing that role.

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While he grew up in Pennsylvania, McCormick has lived for years in Connecticut (he registered to vote there at least as early as 2014, public records show). He bought a home in Pittsburgh in November, shortly before his January Senate campaign launch.

What are David McCormick’s top policy priorities?

McCormick’s campaign did not make him available for a policy interview despite repeated requests. A spokesperson provided a broad list of his top priorities, though with few details about how he would achieve them.

Like other Republicans in the Senate race, he has emphasized energy independence. McCormick “would support legislation that streamlines the pipeline permitting process, incentivizes more domestic production and promotes U.S. [liquid natural gas] exports,” spokesperson Jess Szymanski said in an email. He “always will support [Pennsylvania’s] natural gas and oil industry.”

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McCormick, according to his campaign, wants to make permanent the 2017 tax cuts championed by former President Donald Trump, lower inflation (the campaign didn’t say how), and would support finishing the border wall Trump began.

Who is backing David McCormick?

McCormick has support from a range of longtime Pennsylvania Republican insiders, as well as several major figures from the Trump administration, in which his wife, Dina Powell McCormick, served as a top national security aide. His endorsements come from both the traditional wing of the GOP and Trump-aligned figures.

Onetime Trump aides, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and adviser Hope Hicks support McCormick.

Inside Pennsylvania, he’s backed by former state GOP chairman Rob Gleason, Jim Schultz, a longtime Republican insider from Philadelphia who also briefly served in the Trump administration, and David Urban, an operative who has advised Trump and Pennsylvania GOP senators going back to the late Arlen Specter. U.S. Reps. Dan Meuser and Glenn “G.T.” Thompson also endorsed him.

» READ MORE: Everything you need to know about voting in Pa.’s May 2022 primary election

McCormick, who has already spent nearly $7 million of his own money on his campaign, has also received substantial financial support from friends and allies in the banking and finance world, including many who worked at Goldman Sachs, where his wife is an executive. About three-quarters of the money McCormick has raised from donors comes from outside Pennsylvania, with 23% of his fund-raising coming from New York.

One fellow hedge fund leader, Kenneth Griffin of Citadel, has given $7.5 million to a super PAC supporting McCormick and attacking his main rival, celebrity surgeon Mehmet Oz.

What else should I know?

McCormick is one of two front-runners for the Republican nomination (along with Oz), thanks in large part to a barrage of TV ads by his campaign and allied super PACs. No groups in the country have combined to spend so much supporting a single Senate candidate.

McCormick, who is largely funding his campaign himself, would likely be one of the wealthiest senators if he’s elected. He and his wife have assets worth between at least $116 million and $290 million, and possibly far more, according to his April financial disclosure.

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McCormick has come under fire from rivals for Bridgewater’s investments in China, including more than $1 billion raised for an investment fund last year. McCormick still owns more than $50 million in Bridgewater stock, his disclosure showed.

As a Bush administration official in the late 2000s, he praised China’s economic growth. His campaign argues that he was tough on China in other areas, including pushing for restrictions on U.S. exports that could be used by the Chinese military. And there was bipartisan support for China’s growth at the time, when Beijing wasn’t seen as an economic or military rival.

He also has a long history of backing unrestrained international trade, another position at odds with Republican voters who have adopted Trump’s protectionist posture.

Dina Powell McCormick is a political and financial powerhouse in her own right, as an executive at Goldman Sachs and former Trump national security adviser.

David McCormick’s father was president of what was then Bloomsburg State College and later chancellor of Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.