Pennsylvania Republicans on the brink of picking 'leading election denier' for governor race: report
Doug Mastriano. (US Army photo)

On Thursday, writing for the York Daily Record, Candy Woodall reported that Pennsylvania Republicans appear closer than ever to nominating Doug Mastriano, a gubernatorial candidate who has directly promoted former President Donald Trump's election lies — and even had a role in the "Stop the Steal" events on January 6 that helped fuel the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"His supporters love him for it, but critics say his base of supporters won’t help him carry the suburban and urban voters he will need to win a general election against Democrat Josh Shapiro," reported Woodall. "Mastriano leads GOP candidates among rural voters who are typically in the 50-64 age range, according to polls, but former Congressman Lou Barletta leads in all other age groups and among suburban and urban voters."

"One of the biggest ways Mastriano stands out is with the unproven election fraud claims he has pushed for 16 months," continued the report. "The state senator held a campaign event in Gettysburg last month and called it a 'voter integrity conference,' where attendees signed a petition upon entering the venue that would decertify Pennsylvania’s 2020 election results ... Long before Mastriano launched his bid for higher office, he repeated unproven claims about the 2020 presidential election and held an investigatory hearing without sworn testimony."

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According to financial records, Mastriano helped bus people to the "Stop the Steal" rally where Trump told his voters to "fight like hell," immediately preceding the riot at the Capitol. One insurrectionists on the "tip of the spear" who allegedly threw chemicals at Capitol Police had ties to Mastriano, appearing at one of his fundraisers. Mastriano was even subpoenaed for information by the House Select Committee investigating the attack.

In addition to these activities, Mastriano has engaged with an extremist Pennsylvania church called "Rod of Iron Ministries," which preaches that the AR-15 rifle is literally ordained by the Bible and promotes QAnon rhetoric.

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