A major newspaper editorial warned Pennsylvanians of the implications of voting for “election denying conspiracy theorists” like Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano.
In an editorial published Wednesday, The Philadelphia plaintiff said electing Mastriano – who the newspaper said has made repeated efforts to alter and suppress the results of the 2020 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump – “equates to a 10-alarm fire for anyone who believes in a democracy that works”.
“Pennsylvania doesn’t need conspiracy theorists who deny the election and decide the election outcome with the stroke of a pen,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote.
Mastriano had called for “a full and independent audit of the presidential vote count in Pennsylvania” as a state senator less than two weeks after the 2020 election, adding that the election should not be finalized without a final report of the bipartisan Senate State Government Committee that oversees statewide elections and electoral reform.
“The general assembly must conduct its own electoral audit to restore confidence that every eligible vote is counted,” Mastriano said at the time, mentioning that “voter confidence is at rock bottom.”
Two days after the results were certified on Nov. 23, 2020, Mastriano reportedly hosted a committee hearing at the Wyndham Gettysburg hotel that included former Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis.
While Giuliani blamed the media and “Big Tech,” Mastriano said “the republic is at stake” and that he organized the event due to “numerous allegations of election law violations statewide. “.
Trump himself called in that hearing, saying the election was “rigged” and that his campaign “won by a large margin in Pennsylvania.” President Joe Biden won the state by 80,555 votes.
On November 27, 2020, Mastriano appeared on Steve Bannon’s show Crisis unit podcast and said, “We’re going to take back our power; we’re going to get voters to sit down.”
The senator then introduced a resolution that gave the Pennsylvania General Assembly the power to direct the secretary of the Commonwealth to withdraw certification of Biden’s victory and appoint new voters.
Mastriano has been described as Trump’s ‘point person’ in Pennsylvania, according to emails obtained by The New York Times.
Mastriano continued his efforts even after Biden’s victory was certified, the Applicant reported, including trying to influence Justice Department investigations into the elections and Republican-led audits in states like Arizona. His campaign reportedly spent thousands on charter buses for Trump’s “Save America” rally in Washington, D.C., ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.
“If elected governor, Mastriano has boasted that he intends to interfere with the election results if he doesn’t get the results he wants,” the official said. Applicant the editorial said.
In July of this year, the Applicant reported that Mastriano deleted 14 videos from his Facebook account that indulged in conspiracy theories and comments about other right-wing lawmakers.
A month later, Mastriano’s attorney, Timothy C. Parlatore, said his client would gladly answer questions posed by the House Select Committee on Jan. 6, but with preconditions.
Polls released earlier this month showed Mastriano trailing Democrat Josh Shapiro, who currently serves as the state’s attorney general, by three percentage points.
Newsweek contacted Mastriano and Shapiro for comment.