Kathy Barnette Claims She Voted for Trump in 2016 Primaries; Her Book Says Otherwise

NEWTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 11: Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Barnette attends a Republican leadership forum at Newtown Athletic Club on May 11, 2022 in Newtown, Pennsylvania. In the May 17 Republican primary to replace retiring Sen. Pat Toomey, Barnette is facing front runner Dr. Mehmet Oz, who has the …
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Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Barnette appears to have been caught making a false claim about voting for Donald Trump during the 2016 primaries.

In an interview on the Chris Stigall show, Barnette was asked about her first vote in the state of Pennsylvania, to which she responded that she voted for Trump in the 2016 primaries.

“The one that really pops out in my mind is 2016 for the primary for President Trump, as well as for the general election for President Trump,” she said on the show.

While Barnette might be telling the truth about her primary vote, her comments certainly contradict what she herself wrote in her past memoir, as Republican strategist Matt Wolking, who works with Pennsylvania Senate candidate David McCormick, pointed out on Thursday.

“Praise God for second chances,” she wrote in her book. “Though I didn’t vote for Trump in the primaries, by the time the general election rolled around I was firmly on the first car of the Trump train.

Whether Barnette meant to intentionally mislead during the interview or if she simply misspoke remains unknown, but falsely claiming to have voted for Trump in the 2016 primary as a MAGA badge of pride makes for a rather odd hill to die on considering some of the president’s most ardent supporters initially opposed him (some quite virulently) in the primary. Some, such as Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance, outright opposed his candidacy and yet still found the president’s favor after changing course. Aside from the passage in her book, Barnette’s past tweets show that she firmly opposed President Trump throughout the primary, routinely knocking his moral character and demeanor.

Whatever her past positions on Trump, Barnette has been vocal in her support of the former president throughout the campaign.

Barnette’s dubious comments come after questions have been raised regarding her military service and after Trump publicly said she would have a tough time winning the general election against Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.

“Kathy Barnette will never be able to win the General Election against the Radical Left Democrats,” Trump stated, noting that she has “many things in her past which have not been properly explained or vetted, but if she is able to do so, she will have a wonderful future in the Republican Party—and I will be behind her all the way.”

UPDATE 5-13-22 10:27 a.m. ET:

After the publication of this article, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette uncovered that Barnette did not even vote at all in Pennsylvania in 2016–in the primary or the general election:

This means that she did not, per voting records from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, vote for Trump–or anyone else–in 2016.


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