Doug Mastriano won’t run for Pennsylvania Senate ‘for now’
Mastriano and his wife, Rebbie, also said their movement is going nowhere – and that they will hold an annual grassroots conference.
“We will continue to grow our network statewide in every county,” Mastriano said. “We will continue to be relevant.”
The far-right state lawmaker’s announcement will be good news for Republican Party officials who were convinced Mastriano would kill their chances of unseating Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and harming the candidates on the ballot. if he was the candidate. . Mastriano lost last year’s gubernatorial election by 15 percentage points.
Even former President Donald Trump told Republicans privately that he feared Mastriano would hurt him if they split a ballot in November.
Republican State Rep. Russ Diamond took to Twitter on Monday to try to persuade Mastriano to stay out of the race. He posted a text message he sent Mastriano earlier this year, in which Diamond said his leading the ticket “undoubtedly contributed” to the Republicans losing the State House in 2022.
During last year’s gubernatorial contest, Mastriano’s support for an abortion ban without exceptions, his attempts to nullify the state’s 2020 election, and his appearance on Capitol Hill the day of the attack on January 6 pushed back independents, swing voters and even some Republicans.
Mastriano’s decision to forgo a campaign this time around could pave the way for David McCormick, a former hedge fund CEO and combat veteran who is being recruited by national and state Republicans to run for the Senate. Despite fending off general election voters, Mastriano remains a force in the GOP, winning his primary last year by double digits. Many GOP strategists thought he would be tough to beat in a primary.
Public and private polls have shown McCormick to be a stronger opponent against Casey than Mastriano, although Casey has led both Republicans in the polls.
Mastriano has suggested in the past that if he doesn’t run for the Senate, someone else from his wing of the party might. But who that might mean is unclear. Kathy Barnette, who had Mastriano’s endorsement when she ran and lost in the Senate primary last year, said she will not run in 2024.
Keith Rothfus, a former congressman with ties to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, is eyeing the Pennsylvania Senate seat. Carla Sands, an unsuccessful GOP candidate for the Senate in 2022, did not rule out another run next year when asked by POLITICO last month.
Mastriano recently said he spent time with McCormick and his wife, Dina Powell, who served as Trump’s deputy national security adviser for strategy. It was a change from earlier this year, when Mastriano said he hadn’t met McCormick.