As governor, Mastriano will have the opportunity not only to speak but also to act. The Trump-backed 58-year-old, who won Tuesday’s Republican nomination for governor, will have significant influence in the administration of wars state elections if he wins in November. Competition.
Decisions must be signed by the Governor as he has extraordinary powers to directly appoint the Secretary of State to serve as the Chief Electoral Officer. If he or she refuses, the confusion may continue.
“The biggest risk is that a Secretary of State will say, ‘I’m not going to testify to the election, no matter what the court says, no matter what the evidence, because I’m skeptical,'” Clifford Levine said. Democratic election lawyer in Pennsylvania. “You’ll start to break down the legal system and the whole process.”
Mastriano’s supporters are well aware of the shares. A video posted in the Telegram on Tuesday by Mastriano’s victory opposition activist Ivan Reiklin showed the candidate smiling as he congratulated Reiklin on his victory, and the “20 election votes” indicate the state’s influence. In Election College.
“Oh yes,” Mastriano replied.
Mastriano did not respond to a voicemail or email sent to a campaign account for the media.
But Trump’s former adviser, Stephen K. Mastriano, who now runs the popular podcast on the right, told Banerjee that he had already selected the person he would appoint as secretary of state if elected.
“As far as cleaning up the election is concerned, I’m in a good position as governor,” he said. Appeared April 23rd On Bannon’s “War Room” podcast. “I have a voter reform minded person who has traveled all over the country and is well versed in voting reform. That person has agreed to be my secretary of state.
It also plans to inspect voting machines in several Pennsylvania districts, a power vested in the Secretary of State under state law. “This will be a major issue for me,” he said.
Encouraged by Trump’s late approval on Saturday, Mastriano, a retired army colonel and first-elected state senator in 2019, defeated eight other candidates for the Republican nominee, including former Congressman Lou Barletta.
Someone familiar with Trump’s thinking said he decided to support Mastriano because he believed he would win on Tuesday and wanted to win in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. “He blocks his challenges,” this person said. Like the others interviewed for this report, they spoke anonymously to discuss personal discussions.
Other advisers argued that some candidates, such as Barletta, had been loyal to him for years, but Trump rejected those arguments.
At times, Trump was angry with Mastriano, two former advisers said, because the state senator was unable to pull the trigger in helping Trump defeat the 2020 presidential election. But Mastriano was in touch with Trump and was willing to talk about election fraud when others wanted to move forward, two of them said.
Shortly after Trump publicized his support, Mastriano told Bonan on Saturday that he saw the approval as “proof.”
“President Trump is loyal to those who stand for the truth and strives to fight for the unity of the electorate in our state,” he said.
Mastriano was a key figure in Pennsylvania’s “Stop the Steel” movement, which falsely argued that President Biden’s victory in the state with more than 80,000 votes was the result of widespread fraud.
In the weeks following the November 2020 election, Mastriano organized a public hearing in Gettysburg featuring then-Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and assisted in the off-the-book audit of voting machines in rural Pennsylvania county funded by Trump allies.
Although challenges to Biden’s victory were rejected by state and federal courts, Mastriano proposed a resolution declaring the state’s election results questionable and allowing the Republican – controlled state legislature to appoint presidential elections. On November 28, 2020, he told Banerjee that the goal was to “reaffirm our power to elect the president.”
He said the Pennsylvania General Assembly had “surrendered to the popular vote” and stressed that the Constitution allowed the Legislature to “reaffirm our prerogatives as a General Assembly and to monitor the electorate going to the right person.”
Jan. On May 6, 2021, Mastriano traveled to Washington for a rally in support of Trump. The videos show him in the middle of the crowd heading towards the Capitol as someone else removes the bike rack blocking the sidewalk. He left the scene when it became clear that he respected police taxes and that the event was no longer peaceful and did not enter the Capitol building.
Since the 2020 election, Mastriano has proposed a series of actions in the Pennsylvania Senate that will dramatically reshape state elections.
He Proposed Poll observers are imposing new fines on election staff who remove the requirements of residence in the districts they are sent to monitor and prevent access to election observers. He has stated that he opposes any postal voting. And he Proposed The bill would remove the power to oversee elections from the Secretary of State and extend the powers of the General Assembly to a new Electoral Commission with members appointed by both the Governor and the Legislature.
Pennsylvania is one of three states where the governor directly appoints the state’s top election official, as is the law now.
The signing of the official certificate of election college votes is an important function that the Governor himself performs, and it is not clear what way will be available if the Governor refuses to do so. “It’s confusing,” said Jennifer Morel, a former election administrator and partner in the Electoral Commission consulting firm. “We will be in the same dangerous situation as we were on January 6.” In Pennsylvania, operational decisions for holding elections are made at the local level. Morel said the Secretary of State can provide guidelines but has limited authority to enforce them, which would test a dissident’s ability to handle the system.
But he said an appointee who accepted the principles of the electoral conspiracy could use this position to propagate claims that, even if false, it would erode public confidence in the system.
During the governor’s debate in April, Mastriano said he would appoint a secretary of state, who experts say would violate federal law if all voters in the state were to renew their registration to qualify for future elections.
“I saw better elections in Afghanistan than in Pennsylvania,” Mastriano said.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Democratic presidential candidate, Jan. 6, identifying that Mastriano’s rhetoric about the election and presence in DC on 2021 will be central to his argument that Mastriano is too radical for the swing state.
“When Republicans in Harrisburg tried to undermine our election, I took them to court to defend our democracy. My opponent stood idly by and carried out their attacks, and participated in the January 6 uprising,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
Although Trump can now add Mastriano to the valuable number of his successful primary approvals, the approval came too late, and after Mastriano was already at the forefront of opinion polls, it did not appear to be decisive.
“Trump’s intervention crossed the finish line before the march,” said Matt Brouillette, CEO of Commonwealth Partners, a pro-business group that responded to Mastriano’s endorsement of Trump. And march behind Barletta. “If Doug loses in November, Trump will actually have more than that.”
Some Republicans have expressed concern that Mastriano’s sole focus on 2020 could paralyze voters who believe Biden’s victory system or is more interested in looking to the future.
David Urban, a longtime Trump adviser, said it would be difficult to win a general election in Pennsylvania. Urban said Mastriano should moderate his message and that he did not know it was possible.
“In the general election, people need to moderate their message and go neutral again. If he does, he will be a successful candidate. If he does not want to do that, he will not be a viable candidate, ”he said.
Dave Paul, head of the Washington County GOP, agreed that Mastriano should go beyond his base. During the primary, Mastriano focused his position on the 2020 election on his pitch. “It’s his whole campaign,” Paul said.
But Mastriano said he needed to build a broader alliance and agenda to win in November. “He should appeal to independents and moderate Republicans and everything else,” Paul said. “As far as we’ve seen, it’s a ploy. He has to rename himself.
Those who know Mastriano well say he is unlikely to shrink from his promises to change the election. State Representative Aaron Bernstein, Mastriano’s ally in Harrisburg, said voters could expect Mastriano to rule as he campaigned.
“The things he talks about are the things he wants to do as governor,” Bernstein said. “If people tell you what they’re going to do, I’m always had the basic premise to trust them.”