Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano delivers his speech during a rally against vaccination mandates. Protesters gathered on the steps of the Pennsylvania State Capitol to protest against covid-19 vaccination mandates. HARRISBURG, Pa. - With six days until Pennsylvania's primary, Republicans are openly worrying that a leading candidate in the crowded GOP field for governor is unelectable in the fall general election and will fumble away an opportunity for the party to take over the battleground state's executive suite.Doug Mastriano, 58, a state senator since 2019 and a retired U.S.
Army colonel, is running to the right of the nine-person Republican field and against the party's establishment in a state still roiled by former President Donald Trump's baseless conspiracy theories that Democrats stole the 2020 election there.Mastriano is a prominent peddler of the unsubstantiated claims that widespread fraud marred the 2020 election and that Democratic Gov.
Tom Wolf was responsible for thousands of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes. During the pandemic, he belittled efforts to contain the virus and spread conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 vaccine.That has long made Republican Party officials and movement conservatives uncomfortable that Mastriano will be unable to win a fall general election matchup against Democrat Josh Shapiro, and they are becoming more vocal about it.On Monday, the state Senate’s Republican floor leader, Kim Ward, endorsed a rival candidate, Dave White, and singled out Mastriano as unable to attract the moderate voters necessary to win a general election in Pennsylvania.Mastriano "has appeal to base Republicans, but I fear the Democrats will destroy him with swing voters," Ward wrote on her.