Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis campaigns for Doug Mastriano in Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The race for governor of Pennsylvania featured a big out-of-state name on Friday.
State Sen. Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee, hopes to receive a boost from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' visit to Pittsburgh. Supporters of Mastriano, a retired U.S. Army colonel and state senator since 2019, gathered at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh for Friday's campaign event.
Mastriano won the GOP nomination in May after beating out eight candidates. DeSantis, a rising star in the GOP and a potential presidential hopeful, spoke at the rally on Friday.
He said Pennsylvanians will get a man who stands up to violent crime, mandates and restrictions.
"If you have a governor here working with your Legislature, that will be some of the best protection you can have," DeSantis said. "To have somebody like Mastriano fighting back for you."
DeSantis touted his record in Florida and received a standing ovation after saying this:
"We must fight the woke in our schools," he said. "We must fight the woke in our businesses. We must fight the woke in government agencies. We can never, ever surrender to woke ideology."
He also took a jab at President Joe Biden and his policies.
"When I think of Biden, I think of him staring like a deer in the headlights at the teleprompter," DeSantis said.
"This is a guy that wanted people to be fired from their jobs based on a COVID shot," he added. "He has imposed intolerable burdens on this country, and he's failing the American people every day."
Outside of the hotel, protestors gathered during the event.
"Women are slowly beginning to have their rights eroded, that anti-abortion rhetoric coming to Pennsylvania," said Tanisha Long, founder of Black Lives Matter Pittsburgh. "I'm not interested in having that here."
Austin Davis, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, released a statement, saying:
We know right here in Pittsburgh, that hate speech begets violence. Now, Governor Ron DeSantis is coming to our city to campaign with Doug Mastriano. DeSantis' association with Mastriano means he is aligning himself with extremists and spreading this hate across our Commonwealth and our country.
Mastriano and DeSantis did not take questions after the "Unite and Win" rally, which was sponsored by conservative group Turning Point Action in support of Donald Trump-endorsed candidates in key battleground states.
Earlier this week, Desantis visited New Mexico and Arizona. After the stop in Pittsburgh, DeSantis went to Ohio.
Friday was not the first time DeSantis visited Pennsylvania for a political event. In May 2021, he headlined the Allegheny County Republican Committee's Lincoln Day Dinner.
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