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Gun-burning Army vet George Scott just won his primary in Pennsylvania


George Scott eked out a victory in Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District Democratic primary election on Tuesday after making an attention-grabbing ad that featured him touting his military record and gun knowhow — and then tossing an assault rifle into a fire.

Scott, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and Lutheran pastor, narrowly defeated Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson and two other contenders for the Democratic nomination to face off against incumbent Republican Rep. Scott Perry, an Iraq War veteran, in November.

During the primary, Scott ran one of the most talked-about ads of the election season so far. The 30-second spot, titled “George Scott Common Sense,” features the candidate outside in what appears to be someone’s backyard in the country deftly handling an assault weapon. “I’ve served in the Army all over the world, and I was trained to use guns like these,” Scott says. The video then cuts to an image of his general election opponent, Perry, standing next to President Trump giving a thumbs-up. “But Donald Trump’s loyal soldiers, like Scott Perry, exploit guns and God to score political points.”

Scott then disassembles the gun and tosses it into a fire burning next to him. “I’m a veteran, a pastor, and a Democrat who believes in common sense and not blind loyalty, like gun safety to better protect our children and our communities,” he says.

On his website, Scott lists a series of gun-related issues he would focus on in Congress, including funding gun violence research, implementing universal background checks for gun purchases, and banning bump stocks and high-capacity magazines.

In an interview with PennLive after his Tuesday victory, Scott said he wasn’t sure whether the gun-burning ad would be part of his general election campaign. “I’m not going to make any prediction about how our messaging will be going forward,” he said.

As the general election begins, defeating Perry will be a heavy lift for Scott, but not necessarily an impossible one.

Pennsylvania recently redrew its congressional map. The newly drawn 10th District in southern Pennsylvania still leans Republican, but not as heavily as before. According to Ballotpedia, if the new boundaries for the district had been in place in 2016, Trump would have won by 8.9 points. (Trump won the old district by 21.5 points.) And there’s precedent for a Democrat winning in even tougher Pennsylvania territory: In Pennsylvania’s special House election between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone in March, Lamb won a district that in 2016 went for Trump by nearly 20 points.

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