HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — David McCormick, CEO of one of the world’s largest hedge funds and a former senior official in President George W. Bush’s administration, is accumulating support from longtime party fundraisers and officials in Pennsylvania even before he has formally announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate.

Christine Toretti, Pennsylvania’s longtime Republican national committeewoman, and former state party chair Rob Gleason are among McCormick’s backers, as are fundraisers Pat Deon and Bill Sasso.

Whether McCormick’s high-level support will translate into victory in the May 17 primary election remains to be seen.

McCormick is preparing to enter a Republican primary field that is newly in flux with the exit of former President Donald Trump’s endorsed candidate, Sean Parnell, but gained Mehmet Oz, who carries unrivaled name recognition as the host of daytime TV’s “Dr. Oz Show.”

Other candidates — including Jeff Bartos, Carla Sands and Kathy Barnette — have been making the rounds of party functions for most of the year, while Bartos toured the state by bus.

McCormick is spending $1 million of his money to air a Christmas-themed TV ad across Pennsylvania and has filed paperwork with the IRS to start a campaign fund.

McCormick has lived in Connecticut since 2009. To re-establish residency, the Pennsylvania native bought a house in Pittsburgh, near where he lived before leaving in 2005 to serve in Bush’s administration.

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