MAGA Victories: This Republican Winner Has Liberals Crying Again

By Roberta Elliot | Saturday, 21 May 2022 01:15
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State Sen. Doug Mastriano won Pennsylvania’s Republican gubernatorial nomination on Tuesday. However, a last-ditch effort by some state Republicans to unite around a different candidate they felt would fare better against state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the presumptive Democratic nominee, in November.

Mastriano, a committed supporter of former President Donald Trump, supported his claims that the 2020 election was stolen. Mastriano attended both a QAnon-linked event in Gettysburg and the Washington, D.C., protest that took place before the January 6 Capitol riot. Mastriano often prevented the media from his campaign events in the race’s final days.

Pennsylvania is a crucial battleground state, and some Republicans voiced concern about Mastriano’s electability in a general election race.

Trump offered his support to Mastriano on Saturday after he was the front-runner in the race. The move was seen as a barrier, as Trump’s selection for the Senate, television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, was in a tight three-way race with businessman David McCormick and conservative commentator Kathy Barnette. They drowned in polling in the final days of the race. Barnette and Mastriano ran campaigns in tandem, endorsing one another.

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Some state Republicans were worried Mastriano would damage Republicans’ chances of winning the governor’s mansion and the Senate race, and some congressional contests. They tried to combine the field around former Rep. Lou Barletta, claiming he was better equipped to defeat Shapiro in November.

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Although election analysts predict the 2022 midterm election cycle will favor Republicans due to President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings and voter concerns over inflation, Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race is far from a safe bet for Republicans. The race has been ranked as Lean Democratic by the Cook Political Report, and Republicans have lost four of the last five gubernatorial races in the Keystone State. Outgoing, term-limited Gov. Tom Wolf is a Democrat.

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Shapiro has claimed he would prefer to run against Mastriano, starting an advertising campaign to boost him above his other Republican rivals.

Mastriano, who has consistently led polls of the sprawling Republican primary field, raised money for his campaign at the event. The organizers auctioned a print of Trump for $4,000 — with proceeds going to Mastriano.

“Painting print of President Trump done by Jeff Preston auctioned at an event and sold for $4,000. All proceeds go to the Mastriano campaign,” Mastriano wrote on Facebook. “Your giving means a lot!”

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During a speech Saturday, Mastriano told the “persecution and oppression” he and others faced over their challenges to the 2020 election. He cited that he’d received a subpoena from the congressional committee investigating the Capitol attack.

“I wear that proudly because it’s a badge of honor,” he said. “That means I actually was doing my job as a citizen and as a senator of Pennsylvania here. ... God has his hand over us. And they’re not gonna get me to cower.”

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