Doug Mastriano, the Republican who ran for governor of Pennsylvania this year, was widely considered one of the most extreme candidates the GOP put forward. He believed the 2020 presidential election was stolen, met with QAnon groups, had ties to an anti-Semitic social network where the Tree of Life Pittsburgh synagogue shooter posted his manifesto, and was even present at the Capitol during the January 6 attack. He ultimately went on to lose by double digits to Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Following his loss, he has turned to a new preoccupation, according to The Daily Beast: posting conspiracy theories about "chemtrails" in the sky.
"'Over Franklin County today,' Mastriano tweeted on Sunday, above four pictures of airplane trails across the Pennsylvania sky," reported Kelly Weill. "He followed up with a link to an article about proposed future plans to study the effect of artificial clouds on climate change. The tweet appeared to be a nod to the 'chemtrails' conspiracy theory, which right-wing candidates have previously disavowed under electoral pressure."
"Airplanes and their exhaust trails are normal over Franklin County, which has its own airfield and is located under flight paths from multiple large airports in New York and D.C.," noted the report. "Nevertheless, Mastriano implied the airplane trails were related to a government plot. The article he linked described a forthcoming plan by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to study potential interventions against climate change. One of those proposed interventions includes spraying an aerosol mist at high altitude to reflect sunlight."
"That futuristic (and highly controversial) experiment wasn’t pictured in Mastriano’s tweets because it is not underway," said the report. "The proposed technique also involves flying planes several miles higher than passenger jets and spraying a fine mist that lasts for months, rather than the thick trails that evaporate shortly after a plane passes."
According to the report, Mastriano is not the only Republican candidate pushing extremist views after an election loss. In Arizona, Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem is pushing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Hungarian billionaire George Soros "controlling the press" and the winning Democratic candidates. Meanwhile, Shukri Abdirahman, a Republican who lost a primary to run against Rep. Ilhan Oman (D-MN), tweeted, "We can no longer get rid of tyranny with ballots. It's only by bullets now.”