Carla Sands

Carla Sands, a Republican candidate for one of Pennsylvania's two U.S. Senate seats, speaks at the Cambria County Republican Party headquarters in Richland Township on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021.

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – When Carla Sands, a current Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, started as ambassador to Denmark, she explained to the embassy staff why she felt Donald Trump was elected president in 2016.

She shared those thoughts once again during a visit to the Cambria County Republican Party headquarters in Richland Township on Friday.

“When I got to Denmark, as our ambassador, and I spoke with our team there in Copenhagen, my first speech to them – because most of them were Democrats – I said to them the reason President Trump got elected is for the very reason when I used to drive through in the ’70s, the ’80s, the ’90s through Johnstown, it went from being a thriving town with beautiful stores filled with stuff and people walking, very well-dressed, on the streets, going shopping and going about their business,” said Sands, who grew up in Cumberland County and attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

“And by the time I was going as an older adult, there was, like, ‘for lease’ signs, ‘last-call sale’ or they were empty. and the changes were profound. I said he won because of the globalization that pulled all those good jobs and sent them to Asia and other places.”

Sands spent much of her adult life in California, but has since moved back to Cumberland County.

Her background includes being a chairwoman and CEO of Vintage Capital Group, chiropractor, actress and member of Trump’s Economic Advisory Council.

Sands contributed to Trump’s campaign and inauguration, along with organizing fundraisers.

Her family donated money to other conservative Republicans for years, but she eventually felt that was not effective.

“We did that throughout decades, but it seemed like those politicians weren’t working for us,” Sands said. “It seemed like they weren’t defending our rights, our Constitution. It seemed like they were working for themselves and that they liked their cocktail parties and their pensions. I felt like what I was doing wasn’t working and we were losing our country, and so, I thought, ‘Well, what I’m doing’s not working. I’m going to have to do something different. I’m going to run.’”

Sands called herself a “constitutional conservative.”

“I’m a pro-life woman, pro-First Amendment, pro-Second Amendment,” Sands said. “I am a conservative Republican woman.”

She added: ‘I’m here to put you first. I’m here to put Pennsylvania first, and I’m here to put America first because I feel like we’re losing our country.”

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.

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