Barnette Senate Campaign Refuses to Provide Proof of Military Service Claims

Kathy Barnette’s campaign in the Republican primary for the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate seat up for grabs this year is having a difficult week after failing to provide basic details about her claimed military service.

Barnette’s campaign manager abruptly hung up on a phone call Wednesday when asked to provide information about her service. The terminated call is the latest in a series of refusals by the campaign to provide a copy of Barnette’s DD214 form.

The DD214 is a standard Department of Defense form issued to service members when they separate from the military. The form details the dates of a person’s service, what branch they belonged to, and the terms of their discharge from the military.

The failure of the Barnette campaign to provide her DD214 has raised unanswered questions from military veterans interested in the race. Sean Parnell is a decorated combat veteran who was part of the GOP primary field until last November. He posted a tweet on Wednesday that asked whether anyone knew her discharge status or had actually seen her DD214.

Although there is no reported evidence that Barnette has misrepresented her service record, it is normal for veterans running for office to share their relevant military records.

Barnette campaign manager Bob Gillies terminated a phone call with the Washington Free Beacon when he was asked whether the campaign would share a copy of the candidate’s DD214. That followed reporting that the campaign had declined to make Barnette available for an interview amid its failure to disclose her service documents.

As a result of fierce campaigning between the two Republican frontrunners, Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick, Barnette has seen her polling numbers rise in recent days. She has made her claims of military service a focal point of her personal story in the race. Her campaign materials claim that she overcame a challenging upbringing to serve for 10 years in the U.S. military and then graduate from college.

She has offered some conflicting details on her campaign’s social media accounts, indicating that she served in the “Armed Forces Reserves.” That term does not describe any branch of the U.S. military. She has also claimed to have been accepted into Officer Candidate School but has not provided any details about whether she attended.

The Pennsylvania Republican primary is set for May 17. The latest RealClearPolitics polling average shows Oz leading the tight three-way race with 23.3 percent. Barnette comes in at 21.0 percent and McCormick is close behind at 20.3 percent.