Pennsylvania Dem to get 'wave of Republican endorsements' as GOP fractures over gubernatorial nominee
Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, pictured at a rally on May 14, 2022, is considered to extreme for some in the party. (Michael M. Santiago/AFP)

On Wednesday, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for governor, is set to receive endorsements from key Republicans as the party divides over their controversial nominee.

"A group of Pennsylvania Republicans with long records in government and politics will form a super PAC Wednesday to support state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for governor, in a rejection of the GOP nominee, State Sen. Doug Mastriano," reported Chris Brennan. "Republicans for Shapiro will be chaired by former U.S. Rep. Jim Greenwood, a Bucks County Republican who in 2020 organized a similar effort to oppose then-President Donald Trump’s bid for a second term. That comes as Shapiro is expected to announce Wednesday a 'first wave of Republican endorsements,' including Greenwood."

“I think he’s an extreme, dangerous guy who is out of touch with the majority of the people in Pennsylvania,” Greenwood said of Mastriano, adding that Shapiro is "a very bright, very thoughtful, mainstream man of good character."

"Shapiro is expected to also announce Republican endorsements from former U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, who represented a Lehigh Valley district; former Montgomery County Republican Party chair Ken Davis; former state Supreme Court Justice Sandra Schultz Newman of Montgomery County; former state House Speaker Denny O’Brien of Philadelphia; Lawrence County Commission Chair Morgan Boyd; and three more former state legislators," said the report.

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Mastriano, who defeated a crowded field of candidates in the gubernatorial primary, has repeatedly come under controversy. He has baselessly claimed the 2020 presidential election was stolen and was present at the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — although he has tried to downplay his involvement. He has also said he would ban abortion even in cases where pregnancy is life-threatening, compared gun safety laws to Nazism, has worked with supporters of the far-right and anti-Semitic QAnon movement, and has ties to "Rod of Iron Ministries," a cult-like church that believes the AR-15 is a holy instrument ordained by God.

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Mastriano immediately prior to his win, during a period when he was concerned he'd be humiliated by his Senate choice in Pennsylvania, celebrity medical talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz, losing out to a dark horse candidate. Ultimately, Oz won his contest too, and is now facing Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in November.