(WHTM) – Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano in the race for Governor of Pennsylvania.
“There is no one in Pennsylvania who has done more or fought harder for electoral integrity than State Senator Doug Mastriano,” Trump said in a statement Saturday morning.
Trump, who once backed Mehmet Oz in the Senate race, said, “Doug Mastriano and Dr. Mehmet Oz will be an unbeatable team for the most important midterm election in our nation’s history.”
Mastriano, who has reported ties to conspiratorial group QAnon and a staunch supporter of former President Trump, is leading polls as Election Day approaches. Despite Mastriano’s double-digit lead, Trump’s endorsement comes at a time when the candidate faces Republicans in Pennsylvania expressing concern and apparently working to stop his push.
Pro Tempore Sen. Jake Corman and former Congresswoman Melissa Hart both dropped out of the gubernatorial race this week and endorsed candidate Lou Barletta in an attempt to coalesce around candidates Republicans believe they can win in the election. general.
Dave White and Bill McSwain, who rounded out the top four candidates in the race, each forcefully pushed back against calls to drop out and called Corman’s endorsement of Barletta a career politician endorsing a career politician.
While Trump called Oz and Mastriano “an unbeatable team,” Mastriano backed Oz opponent Kathy Barnette, who has come under fire from Trump and other GOP members for her unverified background and tweets. controversial homophobes and islamophobes.
Who is running for governor of Pennsylvania in 2022?
I am honored to receive President Trump’s endorsement today,” Mastriano said. “But the honor is not for me. It is for the millions of hard-working Pennsylvanians who want their individual freedoms restored, power returned to the people, and their elected leaders to fulfill the America First agenda. and Pennsylvania First.
During the election campaign, Mastriano pledged to eliminate all “pandemic executive orders and decrees” implemented by incumbent Governor Tom Wolf.
In February, Mastriano was subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee for allegedly “part of a plan to organize an alternative list of Pennsylvania voters for former President Trump and allegedly spoke with President Trump about post-election activities.
The committee released their letter to Mastriano saying they understand that (Mastriano was) present during the attack and that he witnessed attacks on officers.
Pa. Governor race: Mastriano takes double-digit lead in new poll
During Nexstars’ Republican gubernatorial debate on April 28, Mastriano said there were no legal issues regarding him or the Jan. 6 committee. During the debate, Mastriano also promised to reset Pennsylvania’s voters list, requiring all eligible residents to re-register to vote.
In April, Trump slammed Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill McSwain, who served as his U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Trump claimed the former federal prosecutor did absolutely nothing to investigate Trump’s false allegations of widespread voter fraud after Democrat Joe Biden won the state in 2020.
One person in Pennsylvania that I will not endorse is Bill McSwain for governor. He was the U.S. attorney who did absolutely nothing about the massive voter fraud that took place in Philadelphia and across the Commonwealth, Trump said in a statement. Don’t vote for Bill McSwain, a coward, who failed our country. He knew what was going on and let it go.
Mastriano leaps, reacting to Republicans trying to stop him
Trump’s false allegations of a stolen election have been debunked by the courts, his own Justice Department and numerous recounts, and no prosecutor, judge or election official in Pennsylvania has raised concerns about widespread fraud.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro is the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor. Pro-Shapiro groups ran pro-Mastriano advertisements with reports that Shapiro thinks he can beat Mastriano in the fall.
“Trump just endorsed one of the most extreme and dangerous GOP candidates in the country for the PA governorship,” Shapiro said Saturday morning. “(Mastriano) wants to ban abortion and undermine elections. He attends the insurrection of 1/6 and crosses the police barricades. We can’t let him win.
In 2018, Mastriano’s main competitor, Lou Barletta, was Trump’s endorsed candidate for the U.S. Senate in the race he lost to incumbent Senator Bob Casey Jr. by more than 600,000 votes. Establishment Republicans pushed others in the race to drop out like Hart and Corman to prevent a May 17 victory for Mastriano.
Barletta reacted to Trump’s endorsement of Mastriano in a statement Saturday morning:
Throughout this campaign, I have proven that I am the best Republican to unite the Republican Party and defeat Josh Shapiro, and I will continue to unite our grassroots conservatives toward our common goal. I will continue to tell the people that I am the only candidate who can unite the party and achieve victory in November. I look forward to getting President Trump’s endorsement on Wednesday morning.
Pennsylvania Democrats responded by calling Mastriano “the most extreme and dangerous Republican candidate for governor.”
Mastriano is incredibly dangerous, and the Pennsylvania Democratic Party will do everything possible to make sure he stays away from the governor’s office.
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