PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) -- Doug Mastriano, a far-right retired U.S. Army colonel and state senator since 2019, has won the GOP bid to be Pennsylvania's next governor, the Associated Press projects. He will face Democrat Josh Shapiro, who ran unopposed, in November's general election.
Mastriano received former President Donald Trump's endorsement in the race.
"It's time for Pennsylvanians to unite. Together, we can and will reignite the torch of liberty and ensure all Pennsylvanians benefit from the bounty God has given our state," said Mastriano. "I want every Pennsylvanian to know that although our goals are ambitious, they are also attainable. We will bring back Pennsylvania better than ever because we have the faith, bold leadership, and work ethic necessary to take this Commonwealth forward."
Mastriano was outside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
He has pledged to take the extraordinary step of requiring voters to "re-register" to vote — even though that's barred by the National Voter Registration Act and likely violates significant protections under federal, and possibly state, law.
Mastriano made Trump's lies about widespread electoral fraud costing him the presidency a centerpiece of his campaign — and has been subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the Capitol riot following his efforts to name a slate of alternate Electoral College electors in Trump's favor.
Many party officials urged Trump not to endorse Mastriano, fearing he cannot win over the moderate voters necessary to prevail in politically divided Pennsylvania.
Mastriano has insisted to supporters that he is not a far-right candidate and that his platforms — including eliminating mail-in voting, expanding gun rights, banning abortion and banishing school property taxes — enjoy broad support.
Mastriano represents a heavily Republican state Senate district based in Franklin County on Pennsylvania's southern border with Maryland.
Republican voters saw nine names on the ballot for governor, even though two — Jake Corman and Melissa Hart — say they have ended their campaigns and endorsed Barletta as part of a last-ditch attempt to help defeat Mastriano.
Barletta had picked up a number of endorsements by current and former Republican officeholders, including members of Congress.
Besides Mastriano, Barletta, Corman and Hart, also on the Republican ballot for governor are: Joe Gale, a Montgomery County commissioner; Charlie Gerow, a marketing consultant and longtime conservative activist; Bill McSwain, a lawyer who was the Trump-appointed U.S. attorney in Philadelphia; Dave White, who runs a large plumbing and HVAC firm and is a former Delaware County councilman; and Nche Zama, a retired heart surgeon who has directed units at various hospitals in Pennsylvania.
Mastriano and Shapiro are vying for the right to succeed Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who is constitutionally term-limited after entering office in 2015. The winner is likely to share power with a Republican-led Legislature, where entrenched GOP majorities have controlled the floors for nearly all of the past three decades.
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