Doug Mastriano, electoral denier advised by Christian “prophets,” announces he will not run for Senate
Doug Mastriano, the Republican Pennsylvania state senator known for his ties to far-right extremists and his involvement in former President Donald Trump’s attempt to falsify the 2020 election results, announced Thursday night that he will not run for the US Senate will run despite having done so. He hinted for weeks that he was about to launch his campaign.
Mastriano made the surprise announcement alongside his wife Rebbie during a Facebook Live video.
“At that point, we made a decision not to run for the US Senate, but to continue serving in Harrisburg,” Mastriano said, referring to the state capital. “So I know that’s going to be disappointing for some, but not disappointing for others because you’re like, ‘Who’s going to take his place?’ You know, ‘Who’s going to be our voice in Harrisburg?’”
Mastriano added that he would support whoever becomes the Republican nominee for the Senate seat “because I don’t want other Republican candidates to go through what we went through last year when our own party betrayed us” — a reference to his belief that the party did not adequately support him during his run for governor of Pennsylvania.
Mastriano had previously indicated he would run for the 2024 race, although other Republicans feared his candidacy could jeopardize the party’s chances of gaining control of the US Senate. Those concerns stemmed largely from Mastriano’s poor performance in last year’s gubernatorial election, where he lost to Democrat Josh Shapiro by around 800,000 votes.
His surprise announcement on Thursday should be music to the ears of Republicans across the country.
Republicans in the Senate, according to a recent report in Politico, had viewed Mastriano as unelectable and hoped to support Dave McCormick in the state primary. McCormick, a former hedge fund CEO, ran for Senate in the GOP primary last year and narrowly lost to TV star Mehmet Oz.
Even Trump — who backed Mastriano during the 2022 Republican gubernatorial primary — had reportedly done so expressed private concerns that Mastrianos’ name on the 2024 ticket could hurt the former president’s chances of winning back the White House.
Pennsylvania State Assemblyman Russ Diamond released one 14 tweet thread Earlier this week he begged others not to support Mastriano.
“Today, I call on all level-headed PA Republicans to join my call in demanding that Doug Mastriano abandon any plans he may have for running for the US Senate in 2024,” he wrote.
Diamond also shared a screenshot of a text message he apparently sent to Mastriano last month.
“Your performance as the Republican leader over the past year undoubtedly contributed to the Republicans losing control of the PA House of Representatives,” the text read. “And I fear that will happen again in 2024 because nothing has changed in the state to mitigate that impact.”
Mastriano brushed aside such concerns in an interview with reporters earlier this week.
“Of all the critics, none had the guts to look me in the eye and have a conversation,” he said. according to PennLive. “It’s right behind a keyboard.”
Mastriano further described the criticism as “irrelevant”.
“It’s the tree falling in the forest, nobody hears it,” he said.
a march Opinion poll A poll conducted by Public Policy Polling found that Mastriano is leading McCormick by up to 18 percentage points in a possible primary race. A Franklin & Marshall College Opinion poll However, as of April, incumbent Democratic Senator Bob Casey was showing Mastriano by 16 points in a general election campaign.
Mastriano first emerged as a national figure in 2020 when he attempted to pass a resolution in the Pennsylvania State Senate to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the key presidential campaign state and hand the election to Trump.
On January 6, 2021, Mastriano organized buses in Pennsylvania to send his supporters to the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, DC that eventually led to an attack on the US Capitol. During the riot, Mastriano was spotted marching near the steps to the Capitol as rioters ran past police barricades.
He later gave testimony before a House committee investigating the January 6 riot.
When Mastriano ran for governor in 2022, he spearheaded an island campaign that was hostile to mainstream media. His Democratic opponent Shapiro often pointed to Mastriano’s unpopular positions on issues such as abortion — which the Republican wanted to ban without exception for rape, incest, or saving the mother’s life.
Shapiro also highlighted the Mastriano campaign’s far-reaching ties to far-right extremism, including paying consultant fees for a social media platform run by a racist anti-Semite; The set a man with ties to a militia group as a security guard; and appearances by Mastriano at meetings of the faithful QAnon conspiracy theory.
Mastriano, who frequently appealed to his apocalyptic Christian faith, also appeared at his side seeking advice self-proclaimed “prophets” like campaign manager Vishal Jetnarayan who did that called that he speaks directly to God.
Julie Green, another “prophetess”, frequent appeared campaigning with Mastriano, once introduced him to a QAnon event in Gettysburg by reciting a message she claimed to have received from above.
“Yes, Doug, I’m here for you and I haven’t left you,” Green said calledreading the supposed message of God. “The time has come for their great downfall and the great theft to be undone. So keep your faith in me.”