Doug Mastriano will not run for Pennsylvania Senate in 2024
Doug Mastriano, the far-right senator who was blown in Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial contest last fall, announced Thursday that he will not run for the Senate in 2024.
“At this time, we have decided not to run for the Senate, but to continue serving in Harrisburg,” Mastriano said in a video posted to Facebook Thursday.
“So I know for some it’s going to be disappointing. For others it’s not going to be disappointing, because you’re like, ‘Who’s going to take his seat? Who’s going to be our voice in Harrisburg?’ … Whoever that candidate is, I will support him,” he added.
Mastriano had openly considered a Senate bid, much to the dismay of some party leaders who did not want a repeat of the losses in 2022.
Republicans are trying to unseat Sen. Bob Casey, whose re-election bid in the battleground state will play a key role in Democrats’ efforts to hold on to their slim Senate majority next year.
Many Republicans are looking to Dave McCormick, a businessman who narrowly lost a GOP Senate primary last year to famed doctor Mehmet Oz.
After Mastriano’s announcement, McCormick released a statement saying he was still keeping the door open for the race.
“I am seriously considering running for the United States Senate because Bob Casey has consistently made life worse for families in Pennsylvania for the past 18 years, and our state deserves better,” he said.
Mastriano was first elected to the state Senate in 2019, but only rose to prominence after the 2020 election when former President Donald Trump sought allies in state legislatures to help him reverse his loss.
On Jan. 6, 2021, Mastriano was outside the Capitol as pro-Trumps stormed Congress in hopes of keeping the then-president in power, though Mastriano said he didn’t. had not entered the building. His state senate campaign had also paid for people to turn out for the rally that preceded the riot.
Mastriano, a former Army colonel, sought to capitalize on his rising profile and launched a gubernatorial bid, in which he emerged victorious from a deep primary field, aided in the line of arrived by Trump’s endorsement.
Throughout his run, Mastriano centered culture war issues and integrated themes of Christian nationalism into his campaign. He also took a tough stance against abortion rights. (In 2019, he said women who violated a proposed six-week ban should be charged with murder, NBC News reported.)
Democrat Josh Shapiro, then-state attorney general, was able to capitalize on Mastriano’s history and positions, calling him the most extreme candidate nationally last fall and soaring to a victory of over 14 points which was the largest margin of victory for any non-incumbent governor of Pennsylvania since 1946.