On Tuesday, writing for The Bulwark, former Ted Cruz communications staffer and anti-Trump conservative Amanda Carpenter outlined how Pennsylvania Republicans have lined up a roster of gubernatorial candidates consisting more or less entirely of election conspiracy theorists.
"Pennsylvania Republicans will nominate a 2020 election conspiracist for governor in the May 17 primary," wrote Carpenter. "How can I be sure of that? Because they’re all election conspiracists. The only thing differentiating them is how far down the rabbit hole they go. And, there’s an excellent chance the nuttiest bunny of them all, Doug Mastriano, is going to win the primary."
Mastriano, who has been subpoenaed by the January 6 committee for his presence at the attack on the U.S. Capitol and his involvement in bussing people to the event, has also gained attention for being affiliated with a QAnon-promoting church that believes AR-15 style semiautomatic rifles are literally ordained by the Bible. But, noted Carpenter, Mastriano is not an outlier in this race.
For one thing, there's former Congressman Lou Barletta. "Barletta, most well-known for his hardline anti-immigration stance, was one of the first members of Congress to endorse Trump," wrote Carpenter. "He chaired Pennsylvania’s GOP delegation for Trump’s 2020 nomination and stayed true to Trump through the post-election turmoil. After the election, Barletta called for a 'full forensic audit.' On January 6th, he tweeted that 'Congress must NOT certify while the integrity of this election is in question!'"
"The other candidates in the race — Bill McSwain, Dave White, and Jake Corman — aren’t any better. They’ve all played along with Trump’s election lies," wrote Carpenter. McSwain has attacked former Attorney General William Barr for allegedly not pursuing election fraud; White claimed that Democrats "cry like a little baby" whenever there's a call to audit elections; and Corman, the President Pro Tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate, actually helped order a baseless audit of Pennsylvania's results by a Florida company.
"The brutal fact is that the two leading candidates in Pennsylvania’s GOP gubernatorial primary were actual participants in Trump’s phony elector scheme. And the other candidates aren’t drawing contrasts — they are following Mastriano’s lead, which says everything about who is really in control of the GOP," concluded Carpenter. "Pretty soon, Dr. Oz might be considered the most normal Republican running statewide in Pennsylvania."
You can read more about the story here.