Doug Mastrian, an ultraconservative senator from central Pennsylvania, won a Republican primary for governor of Pennsylvania, NBC News projects, setting up a race against Democrat Josh Shapiro in the November general election.
Mastrian’s victory ended a rapid rise in the ranks of the state’s Republican Party, despite the efforts of many party representatives who tried to prevent him from winning the nomination.
His far-right view of the results of the 2020 presidential election – he still wants to test votes – and his participation in the Stop the Steal protests in Washington during the uprising in the Capitol on January 6, 2021 have caused many Republicans to worry that Shapiro may “Kill” him in the general election later this year.
Shapiro, the state’s attorney general and former Montgomery County commissioner living in Abington, had no opponents for being nominated by the Democratic Party for governor. He also raised record amounts of money for his company. In fact, he had so much money that in the last weeks of the primary election cycle his campaign bought a television commercial promoting Mastriana.
Republicans have been trying to stop Mastrian’s momentum in the last month by uniting around Lou Barlett, a former congressman from northeastern Pennsylvania. The other candidates running for governor, Jake Corman and Melissa Hart, actually withdrew from the race just last week and backed Barlett.
But it was too little and too late. Mastrian, backed by former President Donald Trump this month, garnered 40.5 percent of the vote in the primaries, as of 9:42 p.m. at Barlett with 22.7 percent, followed by Bill McSwain with 15.4 percent. This was after counting 39% of the vote.
About all the candidates, issues and important dates that voters in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware need to know NBC10 Decision 2022 page. You’ll find tools to help you navigate the by-elections, including when to vote and who will be on your ballot for the primaries and general election in November.