As Pennsylvania Republicans prepare to select a nominee for governor on Tuesday, some party officials are angered by the possibility of a primary victory for a candidate many see as too far too high for the right to win statewide this fall.
Doug Mastriano, a US Army colonel and retired state senator since 2019, has conducted polls while spending a fraction of the money that some of the other eight candidates listed on the Republican primary have spent.
Mastriano recently won Donald Trump’s support after working with the former president to reverse his loss in the 2020 election in the president’s battleground state and helping spread Trump’s lies that widespread voter fraud had cost him the win. Many party officials urged Trump not to support Mastriano, fearing he would fail to attract the moderate voters needed to prevail in politically divided Pennsylvania.
Democrats, meanwhile, are united behind Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is elected for two terms. He is uncontested in the first vote, having completed support for the state party and its key allies, including the AFL-CIO, and raising more than $20 million since early 2021.
Shapiro helped cement his reputation with a landmark grand jury investigation into cover-ups of child sex abuse in Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses and defended Pennsylvania’s 2020 election result against attempts by Trump and his allies in court to cancel it.
They are vying for the right to succeed Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who is constitutionally limited to a limited term after taking office in 2015. The winner will likely share power with a Republican-led legislature in which entrenched GOP majorities have controlled the floor for nearly 20 years and for the past three decades.
Mastriano has insisted to supporters that he is not a far-right candidate and that his platforms – including ending postal voting, expanding gun rights, banning abortion and scrapping property taxes on schools – enjoy widespread support.
Rather, he says Democrats — including President Joe Biden — are radical leftists while the Republican “swamp” is trying to defeat him. Shapiro’s campaign, meanwhile, is running a TV ad that portrays Mastriano as extreme and says if Mastriano wins “it’s a victory for what Donald Trump stands for”.
Mastriano represents a heavily Republican Senate district based in Franklin County on Pennsylvania’s southern Maryland border.
Republican voters will see nine names on the gubernatorial ballot, although two – Jake Corman and Melissa Hart – say they have ended their campaigns and backed former US Rep. Lou Barletta as part of a last-ditch effort to defeat Mastriano.
Barletta has received a number of recommendations from current and former Republican officials, including members of Congress.
In addition to Mastriano, Barletta, Corman, and Hart, also on the Republican nomination for governor are: Joe Gale, a Montgomery County commissioner; Charlie Gerow, marketing consultant and longtime conservative activist; Bill McSwain, an attorney who was the Trump-appointed US attorney in Philadelphia; Dave White, who runs a major plumbing and HVAC company and is a former Delaware County councilman; and Nche Zama, a retired cardiac surgeon who has led units at various Pennsylvania hospitals.
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https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/ap-pennsylvania-donald-trump-republicans-democrats-b2080524.html Pennsylvania’s race of governors divides Republicans and unites Dems