Republican panic grows after Mastriano’s victory

An adviser to several Republican governors, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there was great dissatisfaction with the result, calling it unelectable. The Mastriano campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Some in Pennsylvania are blaming Jeff Yas, the billionaire options trader and the state’s most powerful donor, for sticking to Bill McSwain for governor despite former President Donald Trump’s sharp refusal to endorse. Others are pointing the finger at Lawrence Tapas, the state’s party chair, for failing to clear the field. Still others say Trump should have stayed out of the race altogether rather than endorse Mastriano. Tapas did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

An 11-hour effort to stop Mastriano failed when McSwain and Dave White, a self-financing candidate who had spent at least $5 million of his own money, refused to quit and backed former actor Lou Barletta, whose supporters insisted it was more. viable options.

Many Republicans thought the idea was futile and too late. Many said serious efforts to prevent Mastriano from winning should have begun last summer, while others said Yas and his allies could have brought down McSwain sooner.

Said Sam Katz, the former Republican candidate for governor who now supports Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee.

“If they had spent $5 million in three weeks, they might have forced Trump to make a different choice and changed everything,” Katz said.

Mastriano had 44 percent of the vote as of Thursday morning.

Matthew Brouillette, president of the Commonwealth Partners, who funded McSwain’s campaign, noted that his organization also backed Carrie del Rosso, who won the vice governor’s race. He said the criticism came largely from “advisors and rent-seekers who don’t like us because we disrupt their trains”.

Mastriano’s weaknesses abound, Republican Party activists’ lament.

The state senator and retired US Army colonel has taken a hard line on abortion, which he said should be illegal in all circumstances. He organized buses to Washington for January 3rd. 6, 2021, A rally in Washington can be seen on video crossing police lines at the Capitol as the rally turns into a riot. He has also been a vocal defender of the baseless allegations that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

Mastriano’s name has appeared in documents released by the committee investigating the Capitol riots, and he claims to have been in close personal contact with Trump about their joint effort to overturn President Biden’s victory. In February, the committee requested “documents and information relevant to the Select Committee’s investigation” in a letter to Mastriano. He declined to say who he would appoint as foreign minister, a crucial position overseeing election and voting infrastructure.

Mastriano has appeared at events linked to QAnon, the amorphous conspiracy theory alleging the existence of a secretive gang of elite pedophiles who run the federal government and other major US institutions. He also made statements deviating from Islamophobia.

He is likely to be a particularly weak candidate in the crowded suburbs around Philadelphia, the state’s most important political battleground. On the other side of the state, the editorial page of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette already officially endorsed Shapiro as “the only statewide candidate who did everything Pennsylvania-style.”

Agents in both parties expect Shapiro to attack Mastriano with an advertisement portraying him as a dangerous extremist while Mastariano’s tiny organization struggles to raise funds.

Will the National Republicans help Mastariano or will they avoid him? The main players in the Governor’s races seem to be waiting to see how the race develops before making that decision.

Some Republicans believe the national winds blowing in their favour could help Mastariano win despite all his weaknesses, but for now, Democrats are happy to face him in November. They note that Shapiro has fared better than Biden in Pennsylvania during his re-election race for state attorney general, and they expect Shapiro to be inundated with donations from both in and out of the state.

On Tuesday night, the Governing Council released a half-hearted statement acknowledging Mastriano’s victory, but noting that he was on his own for now.

“Pennsylvania Republican voters have chosen Doug Mastriano as their candidate for governor,” Executive Director Dave Rexrod said. “RGA remains committed to participating in competitive judges where our support can have an impact.”

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