Pennsylvania Senate primaries in 2022: Republican Carla Sands, a former US ambassador to Denmark, tries to exploit ties to Trump

Businesswoman Carla Sands is among an overcrowded field of Republican candidates vying for the Pennsylvania open U.S. Senate seat in 2022.

Sands, 61, served as U.S. Ambassador to Denmark under former President Donald Trump and has a background in real estate investment, most notably as chairman and CEO of Vintage Capital Group, the company founded by her late husband, Fred Sands. She was an economic adviser and major donor to Trump during his presidential campaigns.

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The Mechanicsburg native is also a chiropractor and former actress who appeared on the first season of the CBS soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

Sands touts himself as the traditionally most conservative candidate in the GOP field, which was led by frontrunners Mehmet Oz and David McCormick ahead of Tuesday’s primaries. Sands’ platform revolves around “America First” principles, including an energy policy that supports rolling back natural gas production regulations and reducing reliance on foreign oil.

Many of Sands’ positions reflect Trump’s more ambitious campaign promises, such as building a more fortified wall along the Mexican border and rolling back electoral reforms that have been falsely blamed for Trump’s loss to Joe Biden in 2020.

Sands has also campaigned in favor of the Second Amendment and has vowed to end the “arms-grabbing” legislation advocated by Democrats who want more safeguards around firearms purchases.

During the campaign, Sands has often called for investigations into Biden’s ties to Ukraine and how Dr. Anthony Fauci is tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m in because I think we’re losing our country to the far left, and I’m not talking about the traditional Democratic party,” Sands said during a March performance at a Westmoreland County high school. “I’m talking about communists and socialists.”

Sands has argued that an “Operation Warp Rate” for Pennsylvania’s energy sector — an allusion to the Trump administration’s COVID-19 vaccine development initiative — is necessary to revitalize the economies of the state’s smaller communities.

In December, Sands received an endorsement from former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

“Carla’s business experience and time abroad have prepared her to be an effective negotiator on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania,” Gingrich said. “Her common sense solutions and passion will be a force to be reckoned with in Washington.”

Sands had sought Trump’s support, but the former president threw his support behind Oz.

Trump had originally endorsed Sean Parnell in the GOP field, but Parnell dropped out of the race last November over allegations of abuse by his estranged wife and a subsequent custody battle for the couple’s children.

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