Today, I’m calling on all level-headed Pennsylvania Republicans to join me in requesting that Doug Mastriano abandon any plans he may have to run for U.S. Senate in 2024.
In 2022, I publicly predicted what would happen if Doug Mastriano was on the top of our ticket ten days before the primary election. Unfortunately, I was mostly right.
I spent five months crisscrossing the state as a candidate for lieutenant governor in early 2022, with a dual purpose of talking to Republican committee members and other elected officials about the danger his candidacy posed to our party.
The vast majority of them agreed with me privately, but few were willing to join me in saying it publicly. I’m asking them now to stand up so we can avoid another electoral disaster in 2024.
Because I know some of Doug Mastriano’s supporters will claim I worked against him in the general election (along with calling me an Establishment RINO), I’m including the previous text exchange we had. He never took me up on my offer.
I also sponsored a dinner here in Lebanon County where Doug Mastriano was the keynote speaker in front of a packed house, and advocated for his election in my traditional pre-election ‘how to vote’ post.
Unfortunately, even the voters of blood-red Lebanon County were underwhelmed by his campaign, as he was seriously outperformed by all other Republicans here. That pattern was repeated across Pennsylvania. Top of the ticket candidates should lead, not trail, down-ticket candidates.
READ MORE — The Editors: Mastriano struggles with reality in post-election accounting
Despite his post-election lamentations re: lack of support from the RNC and the Pennsylvania GOP, his own campaign still had nearly $1.1 million in the bank after the election. Winners leave everything on the field, not on the table.
In 2020, during Covid, we stood arm in arm and were publicly linked in the anti-lockdown fight. But over the course of that year, I began to suspect his efforts were more focused on publicity for himself than public policy and began distancing myself.
By the end of November 2020, I recognized a disturbing pattern of casual disregard for the truth from him. Because we were somewhat linked in the public eye, I reached out in an attempt to discuss my concerns. He never responded.
Throughout 2021, in addition to my efforts to limit a governor’s emergency powers and address election integrity legislatively, I quietly attempted to discuss my concerns with some of his supporters. For the most part, they would have none of it.
I watched with dismay as he co-opted various citizen activist groups that sprouted from anti-lockdown and election integrity concerns, morphing them into a cult of personality where any question or debate of him or his actions was strictly verboten. That continues today.
And finally, here’s a Twitter thread inspired by his Facebook page I posted just this weekend which speaks volumes about character and just made me sick from the point of view of someone who’s had loved ones with disabilities my entire life.
Regardless of whether he plans to run or not, I know there are tons of other Republicans who share my concerns. I urge them to speak out now, before it’s too late, for the sake of our Republican brand and the future of our Commonwealth.
Rep. Russ Diamond represents the 102nd legislative district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.