This G.O.P. Senate Candidate Says He Grew Up on a Family Farm. Not Exactly.

David McCormick’s origin story goes something like this: He grew up in rural Pennsylvania, southwest of Scranton. He baled hay, trimmed Christmas trees and otherwise worked on his family’s farm. And from those humble beginnings, he rose to achieve the American dream.

“I spent most of my life in Pennsylvania, growing up in Bloomsburg on my family’s farm,” Mr. McCormick, now a Republican candidate for Senate, told Pittsburgh Quarterly in 2022.

“I’ve truly lived the American dream,” he wrote in a fund-raising appeal in October. “My life’s journey — from growing up on a farm in Bloomsburg, to graduating from West Point and serving in the 82nd Airborne Division, growing a business in Pittsburgh, and serving at the highest levels of government — reflects that.”

“I grew up on a family farm from the time I was a kid,” he said at the Pennsylvania farm show in January.

But interviews in Mr. McCormick’s hometown, as well as a review of public records, news coverage from his childhood and his own words, suggest that he has given a misleading impression about key aspects of his background.

He has explicitly said and strongly implied that he grew up on a farm, claimed in 2022 that he had “started with nothing” and that he “didn’t have anything,” and he and his campaign have recently described his parents as schoolteachers.

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