Far-right election denier Mastriano wins GOP race for governor in Pennsylvania

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, a far-right Republican who built a large following seeking to overturn President Joe Biden’s win in Pennsylvania, is the GOP nominee for governor, NBC News projected Tuesday.

He’ll face Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro, the state attorney general, who ran unopposed, in November.

Should Mastriano, who received former President Donald Trump’s last-minute backing Saturday, prevail in the general election, he would be able to appoint a secretary of state to oversee elections. He has pledged that his choice would “reset” the state’s voter rolls so everyone would “have to re-register.”

Mastriano’s winning campaign message wove together Christian nationalism, election denialism and a rejection of Covid mitigation policies. A number of Republicans have expressed concern that he is too extreme to beat Shapiro in November, with some state GOP leaders working behind the scenes in the past week to consolidate a large field around another candidate in hope of uniting the non-Mastriano vote.

In a speech at his election night rally, Mastriano said his campaign “has no place for hate, bigotry and intolerance,” adding that his movement is “under siege” from opponents and members of the media who don’t “like groups of us who believe certain things, and they paint us in these awful descriptives.”

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