Trump-backed 2020 election denier wins GOP primary for Pennsylvania governor

Mastriano, a state senator who was endorsed by Trump, is now set to face Democratic state attorney general Josh Shapiro. They are vying to replace term-limited Democratic Governor Tom Wolf.

Mastriano’s selection by the GOP means that if he wins in November, a Holocaust denier who tried to subvert the will of voters in the 2020 election would have power over the electoral machinery in one of the battleground states. most important in the country in the 2024 presidential race. In Pennsylvania, the governor appoints the secretary of state – the person responsible for running Pennsylvania’s elections and signing its voters.

Mastriano used his victory speech Tuesday night to mock Rachel Levine, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health and Admiral of the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who is transgender.

The possibility of far-right Mastriano’s nomination had panicked Republicans who fear he will be voted out by suburban moderate and independent voters who the party hopes will give him control of the House and Senate and win in a series of midterm gubernatorial races in November. elections.

Mastriano, whose campaign barred reporters from events in the final days before the primary, was an early supporter of Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. He was pictured outside the US Capitol on 6 January 2021, the day of the uprising, and attempted to launch an Arizona-style partisan review of Pennsylvania ballots.

In an endorsement earlier this month, Trump said Mastriano “is a fighter like few others, and has been with me from the start, and now I have an obligation to be with him.”

He also opposes abortion rights — a high-stakes issue in the race for governor of Pennsylvania, with the U.S. Supreme Court potentially set to overturn Roe v. Wade as early as next month and Republicans controlling the state legislature. Mastriano introduced legislation in the state senate that would make abortion illegal after six weeks.

“Doug Mastriano wants to ban abortion without exception, restrict the right to vote and spread conspiracy theories, and destroy the union way of life for hard-working Pennsylvanians,” Shapiro said in a statement Tuesday. “Mastriano wants to dictate how Pennsylvanians live their lives — that’s not freedom.”

In a sign of concern from national GOP strategists and officials about Mastriano, the Republican Governors Association issued a lukewarm statement late Tuesday acknowledging Mastriano’s victory without congratulating him or pledging to participate in the gubernatorial race. open seat in one of the most important swing states in the country. .

Instead, RGA executive director Dave Rexrode said the organization “remains committed to engaging in competitive gubernatorial contests where our support can have an impact.”

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