Donald Trump endorsed Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania’s Republican gubernatorial primary on Saturday, siding with a far-right candidate who was outside the US Capitol during the Jan. 6 uprising and worked determinedly to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Mastriano was already leading a crowded field of contenders, and the former president’s endorsement puts him on even stronger footing ahead of Tuesday’s primary.
But party leaders are increasingly concerned that Mastriano, a state senator and retired U.S. Army colonel, may be too extreme to win November’s general election and could drag other Republicans vying into the fray. pivotal state where a U.S. Senate seat is also up for grabs. caught.
Mastriano, for example, helped spread unsubstantiated claims by Trump and his allies that Democrats fraudulently stole Joe Biden’s election — something Trump captured in his endorsement statement.
“There is no one in Pennsylvania who has done more or fought harder for electoral integrity than State Senator Doug Mastriano,” Trump wrote. “He exposed the deception, corruption and outright theft of the 2020 presidential election, and will do something about it.”
Trump called Mastriano “a fighter like few others, and he’s been with me from the start, and now I have an obligation to be with him.”
Mastriano is a prominent peddler of conspiracy theories, including Trump’s lies that widespread fraud marred the last run for the White House and led to his loss in Pennsylvania.
Mastriano also did so and said he would take the extraordinary step of requiring voters to “re-register” to vote. Such a move is prohibited by the National Voter Registration Act and likely faces significant protections under the constitution and federal — and possibly state — laws, according to constitutional law scholars. But its adoption of such a concept is a significant violation of democratic standards regarding the results of free and fair elections.
“We’re going to start all over again,” he said during a debate last month, referring to the recording.
Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in New York contributed to this report.
The Independent Gt