May 13, 2022
Businesswoman Carla Sands is among a crowded field of Republican candidates vying for Pennsylvania's open U.S. Senate seat in 2022.
Sands, 61, was U.S. ambassador to Denmark under former President Donald Trump and has a background in real estate investment, most notably as chair and CEO of Vintage Capital Group, the firm created by her late husband, Fred Sands. She was an economic advisor and major donor to Trump during his presidential campaigns.
The Mechanicsburg native also is a chiropractor and former actress who appeared in the first season of the CBS soap opera "The Bold and the Beautiful."
Sands touts herself as the most traditionally conservative candidate in the GOP field, which has been led by frontrunners Mehmet Oz and David McCormick heading into Tuesday's primary election. Sands' platform revolves around "America First" principles, including an energy policy that supports rolling back regulations on natural gas production and reducing reliance on foreign oil.
Many of Sands' positions echo Trump's more ambitious campaign promises, such as the construction of a more fortified wall along the Mexican border and a rollback of election reforms that have been falsely blamed for Trump's loss to Joe Biden in 2020.
Sands also has campaigned in favor of the Second Amendment and vowed to halt "gun-grabbing" legislation advocated by Democrats who want more safeguards around the purchase of firearms.
On the campaign trail, Sands often has called for investigations of Biden's ties to Ukraine and Dr. Anthony Fauci's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I'm running because I think we're losing our country to the hard left, and I'm not talking about the traditional Democrat party," Sands said during a March appearance at a high school in Westmoreland County. "I'm talking about communists and socialists."
Sands has argued that an "Operation Warp Speed" for Pennsylvania's energy sector — an allusion to the Trump administration's COVID-19 vaccine development initiative — is necessary to reinvigorate 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 endorsement, but the former president threw his support behind Oz.
Trump originally had endorsed Sean Parnell among the GOP field, but Parnell dropped out of the race last November amid allegations of abuse from his estranged wife and an ensuing custody battle for the couple's children.