PITTSBURGH — The race for Pennsylvania’s governor comes to Pittsburgh tomorrow. Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano will hold his first major rally in the Steel City.
He’ll be joined by Florida Gov. and potential presidential candidate Ron DeSantis. The visit provides a chance to fire up the GOP base amid dropping poll numbers but faces harsh criticism from some.
“Doug Mastriano, who desires to get government off the backs of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is the right choice here,” Allegheny County Republican Party Chair Sam DeMarco said. “I think when people get the chance to hear firsthand from the senator himself and what he’d like to do, they’ll recognize he’s not this caricature.”
Mastriano attended the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. He helped rent buses to get people to D.C. but says he did not go inside. He has previously voiced his support for the social media site Gab. Critics say the platform is a breeding ground for hate speech and anti-Semitism.
Religious leaders in Pittsburgh spoke out against Mastriano Wednesday.
“This is who Doug Mastriano has decided to affiliate with, even as a candidate for Pennsylvania’s highest office. Make no mistake, these groups are a direct threat to the Jewish community,” Tree of Life synagogue member Jeff Letwin said.
Today, similar statements were made by Jewish leaders in Florida. They called for Gov. Ron DeSantis to cancel his appearance with Mastriano.
“By the very nature of putting himself side by side with Mastriano, (DeSantis) has now absorbed the anti-Semitism and bigotry of Mastriano into his own campaign and onto himself,” Dr. Samuel Edleman, a member of Florida’s Democratic Jewish Caucus, said.
“I just think these religious leaders (are) injecting themselves basically into politics. If they want to just become part of the Shapiro campaign, they’re welcome to donate or whatever,” DeMarco said.
Doors open at 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Wyndham in downtown Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh police tell Channel 11 they are monitoring the event as they do with any that have the “potential to grow.”
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