Pennsylvania GOP panics over possible Mastriano nomination

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2022 ELECTIONS

Pennsylvania GOP panics over possible Mastriano nomination

Republicans are increasingly worried that a ticket led by gubernatorial frontrunner Doug Mastriano could lead to defeat in November.

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano is pictured.

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano takes part in a forum for Republican candidates for governor at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference in Camp Hill, Pa., April 1, 2022. | Matt Rourke/AP Photo

By HOLLY OTTERBEIN and ZACH MONTELLARO

05/10/2022 07:19 PM EDT

Updated: 05/10/2022 08:40 PM EDT

PHILADELPHIA — Top Republicans are mounting a last-ditch, behind-the-scenes effort to stop state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a leading voice in the movement to overturn the 2020 election results, from winning the party nomination for governor in Pennsylvania.

With only days to go before the May 17 primary, GOP gubernatorial campaigns and leading state and county officials have been in discussions about uniting behind a single candidate to avoid a scenario in which Mastriano wins the crowded race by taking advantage of a splintered vote. If that doesn’t work, another optionis persuading the candidates in single-digits in the polls to drop out.

Several gubernatorial campaigns have been involved in the talks, four GOPsources told POLITICO, in addition to Andy Reilly, a Republican National Committeeman, and Sam DeMarco, chair of the Allegheny County Republican Party.https://23a8dd3a4b011abc50db9b2d96721997.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

DeMarco,the leader of one of the biggest county parties in the state and the chair of the Southwest caucus, confirmed that he is “a participant in those discussions.” On Tuesday, he tweeted out a poll showing Mastriano struggling against presumptive Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro, and announced that he is personally throwing his weight behind one of Mastriano’s top primary opponents, businessman Dave White, which he said is “of his own volition.”

“There’s so much that concerns me about this,” DeMarco told POLITICO, stressing that he was not speaking for the group. “We’re in a year where all evidence points to a red tsunami. And it appears here in Pennsylvania, because of the number of people in the race and his smaller but consistent base of support, we may be nominating the only Republican who would be unelectable in November.”

A spokesperson for Mastriano did not respond to repeated requests for comment.https://www.politico.com/2022-election/race-forecasts-ratings-and-predictions/embeds/pennsylvania/governor/

The prospect that Mastriano — who was present at the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection — could lead the GOP ticket has increasingly alarmed Republicans, both in Pennsylvania and nationally. (Mastriano has said he left before the riot took place.) They worry that the party could be dooming its chances in November by picking a polarizing candidate with limited appeal, who could also be a drag on the Republican ticket in what is otherwise shaping up as a favorable election year.https://23a8dd3a4b011abc50db9b2d96721997.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

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