Rust Belt Dem’s Campaign Splurges On Ritzy European Hotels Ahead Of Contentious Election

(Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania spent thousands of campaign dollars on European hotels and travel in the last quarter of 2023, the latest round of Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings show.

Casey reported raising $3.7 million during the fourth fundraising quarter — nearly $2 million less than his Republican challenger David McCormick — and entered the election year with $9.4 million cash on hand. The senator’s campaign spent thousands on fancy hotels in Switzerland and France, as well as train services abroad, according to FEC filings.

On Nov. 14, the campaign spent $891.54 on travel at the Hotel Les Armures in Geneva, Switzerland, and $463.10 at the Hotel Villa Madame in Paris, France, according to FEC data. The Hotel Villa Madame and the Hotel Les Armures are four- and five-star hotels, respectively, and both describe themselves as “exclusive.”

Casey’s campaign reported another disbursement for travel at the Hotel Les Armures on Dec. 1, amounting to $1,296.62. (RELATED: Dem Senator Who Helped Pass Biden’s Massive Spending Bills Blames Corporations For Inflation)

Additionally, the campaign spent a combined $1,364.69 on European railway service Eurostar in November, according to FEC filings. The campaign also reported disbursing $534 to Rail Ninja on Nov. 6, an online train booking service that offers travel in Europe; the recipient of that transaction was listed under an address in Malta.

Casey’s campaign has brought in nearly $40,000 from individuals who listed their address as in a foreign country this cycle, according to FEC data. During the fourth fundraising quarter when the European travel was reported, the campaign brought in 13 separate contributions from foreign countries totaling $30,500.

PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 17: Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick speaks to supporters at the Indigo Hotel during a primary election night event. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Casey’s campaign reported $1.6 million in disbursements during the fourth fundraising quarter compared to McCormick’s $1.3 million.

McCormick, who narrowly lost the 2022 Republican primary for the Senate seat now held by John Fetterman, ended 2023 with $4.2 million on hand, according to his FEC filing. The National Republican Senatorial Committee landed their recruit in late September when McCormick, a former hedge fund CEO, launched his second bid for the upper chamber.

The Senate seat, which Casey has held since 2007, is characterized by The Cook Political Report as in the “Lean D” column, along with other contentious races in Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin.

Polling for the race largely suggests Casey is favored to return to the Senate in November, with surveys finding the senator up anywhere from three to 15 points, according to FiveThirtyEight’s compilation.

However, Pennsylvania is a battleground state that former President Donald Trump, the clear frontrunner for the GOP nomination, won in 2016 and lost in 2020. The RealClearPolitics average for a matchup in the swing state between Trump and Joe Biden indicates the president is only leading by 0.3 points.

Democrats in the battleground state have been increasingly leaving their party for the GOP, according to data released by the Pennsylvania Department of State in mid-December. Pennsylvania lost over 35,000 Democratic voters to Republicans in 2023, while only 15,622 GOP voters jumped ship to Democrats.

Casey’s campaign did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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