Republican-turned-Independent Pennsylvania Senate candidate Everett Stern just dropped out of his Senate race, saying that he recognizes a necessity to endorse his Democratic former opponent John Fetterman because Democracy is at risk.
Three candidates were heading to the general election for a seat in the U.S. Senate, although only the two major party candidates, John Fetterman (D) and Mehmet Oz (R) tend to make headlines or have significant poll numbers. Stern, who initially ran as a Republican but switched to Independent, was hitting around 3% in the polls — not enough to be likely to win, but enough to be a ‘spoiler’ for one of the other candidates.
Oz and Fetterman, meanwhile, are running a tight race. Polls vary, but Fetterman could be leading by a percent small enough to be within the margin of error.
For that reason, Stern has decided to drop out, saying that he doesn’t want his 3% of the vote to have a detrimental effect on the overall outcome of the race. He’s throwing his full endorsement behind Fetterman.
Stern shared his decision in a Tuesday afternoon tweet.
U.S. Senate Announcement: I am polling around 3% which places Democracy at risk. In the interest of protecting the United States I am dropping out of the U.S Senate Race in PA. I fully endorse John Fetterman. The Democrats must win. PA must be Blue. It has been an honor running.
— Everett Stern (@EverettStern1) October 25, 2022
He also issued a video statement, adding further emphasis:
“I want to make it crystal, crystal clear here that Pennsylvania must go Blue in this election. The Democrats need to win this. Oz is being backed by Trump and by Flynn and that is simply unacceptable.”
Anyone who might have written in his name, or tried to donate further to his campaign, Stern says, should not do so, but throw their support behind Fetterman instead.
As for his own plans, he says his next step is to face Michael Flynn in court, as the Trump pardonee has filed a lawsuitagainst him, alleging libel and slander over testimony regarding January 6th.
To Occupy Democrats, Stern explained:
“Heading into the Flynn trial tomorrow morning, I realized that democracy is by far the most important thing. More important to me. It is something I would die for. Therefore I need to drop out to defend the United States and ensure Fetterman wins.”
Stern alleges his private intelligence firm, Tactical Rabbit, was approached by operatives on Flynn’s behalf, who wanted to hire his firm to gather dirt on judges and legislators that would help extort them to support election audits.
“They wanted to gather intelligence on senators, judges, congressmen, state reps, to move them towards the audit,” Stern said. “The word ‘move’ was emphasized tremendously. It was clear to me what they wanted was not traditional opposition research — what they wanted was to extort and to literally move people towards the audit with dirt.”
The Pennsylvania seat is one of only a handful in the Senate that could easily flip in either direction so this decision by Stern is timely — he could end up having a significant impact on the balance of power in the next Senate, simply by choosing to step out.
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.