He is perhaps the most polarizing figure in Pennsylvania politics today.
Whether you like it or not, state senator Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) sits atop polls measuring the Republican race for Commonwealth governor. And this is where our story begins.
Mastriano grew up in a military family and attended Eastern University (Pennsylvania). After graduating in 1986, he joined the army, and while stationed on the border of West Germany and Czechoslovakia, he came to see the Cold War as a campaign. spiritual.
While deployed to Iraq in 1991, he felt part of a religious conflict against radical Islam. And after winning a battle against all odds, Mastriano said the new yorker“I believe I was saved by God, who answered the prayers of Pennsylvanians.”
His contempt for Islam remains. In recent years, he has been spreading Islamophobic memes online. In one, he spread a conspiracy theory that Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) ordered fellow Muslims to throw a five-year-old child over a balcony. Another shared a graphic that read “Islam wants to kill gay rights, Judaism, Christianity and pacifism.” Mastriano also fanned the flames that the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was started by Muslims.
He settled into a teaching position at the US Army War College in Carlisle before deciding to run for office in 2019. He won the State Senate seat from the 33rd District that year, representing the Franklin and York counties.
His strong religious beliefs led him to witness events with the New Apostolic Reformation, a Christian movement that seeks to dominate politics, business and culture in preparation for the end times and the return of Jesus.
His speeches during the campaign usually include a reference to John 8:36 – “If therefore the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed,” is the translation of the King James Bible. This is Mastriano’s explanation for his motto, “Walk as free people”.
He protests against Governor Tom Wolf and his actions on the rules of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as his belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from the former president donald trump. Mastriano helped arrange transportation to the January 6, 2021 rally at the Capitol and was photographed at the event. He denies entering the Capitol that day.
Today, Doug Mastriano is six days away from winning the GOP nomination for governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Recent polls show him with a 10 to 12 point lead over Lou Barletta, Bill McSwain and David White. Its MAGA roots are strong and its supporters are loyal. Will it be enough to allow him to cross the finish line?
No, say many in Republican circles.
“Everyone realizes we should have arrived two months ago,” said a source close to one of the campaigns. Philadelphia plaintiff. This realization — the GOP needs only one alternative to Mastriano — not six, seven, or eight.
“There are so many things that worry me about it” Sam DeMarcoAllegheny County Republican Party Chairman said POLITICS, emphasizing that he was not speaking on behalf of the group. “We are in a year where all the evidence points to a red tsunami. And it looks like here in Pennsylvania, due to the number of people in the race and its smaller but consistent support base, we might name the only Republican who would be ineligible in November.
Bring it on, says suspected Democratic opponent Josh Shapiro. The PA Attorney General even ran a TV ad that seems to indicate Shapiro’s desire to face Mastriano in November.
It is reminiscent of 2016, when the hillary clinton campaign wanted to elevate Trump, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson to be “pack leaders” so as not to have to run against Jeb Bush. Soon Trump’s skeptics faded when it became clear that he would be the GOP nominee. You know the rest of the story.
“I was in denial for a very long time,” the former DNC chairman said Howard Dean at POLITICS. “I tell people that I was wrong for 52 consecutive weeks from June (2015).”
In the rolling average of PoliticsPA polls, Mastriano (19.2) has a three-point lead over Barletta (16.2) and a nine-point bulge over McSwain (10.2). A recent Trafalgar Group poll showed Mastriano (27.6) had a 10-point advantage over Barletta (17.6) and a 12.5-point lead over White (15.1).
Each of the last four polls has shown Mastriano with over 20% support. But will that be enough on May 17?