Mastriano brings the election denier into Pa’s gubernatorial campaign

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Doug Mastriano, Pennsylvania’s Republican nominee for governor who pushed Donald Trump’s election liessaid Monday he had appointed Trump’s former campaign attorney as senior legal adviser for his own campaign.

Attorney Jenna Ellis endorsed Mastriano in the state’s controversial Republican primary, campaigned with Mastriano, and hosted Mastriano on her podcast, where he once discussed how to faint Trump’s defeat by Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

Ellis, who also promoted Trump’s electoral lies, was with Mastriano the night he won his gubernatorial primary and said on her podcast last month, “I like to say that Doug Mastriano is the Donald Trump of Pennsylvania.”


The decision to bring in Ellis points to Mastriano, who did it supported by Trump, has little interest in hosting his gubernatorial campaign ahead of the Pennsylvania general election. If Mastriano were to win in the fall, he would shape the conduct of elections in the crucial battleground state – where the governor appoints the secretary of state who oversees the conduct of the elections. Mastriano has pledged to take the extraordinary step of requiring people to “re-register” to vote – a move that flatly violates federal lawsay constitutional lawyers – and the decertification of certain voting machines.

After the 2020 election, Mastriano, a state senator, chaired a state senate hearing in Gettysburg where witnesses — including Ellis and his colleague Rudy Giuliani — were broadcast false claims of mass voting fraud. Trump also called for the hearing.


In a statement Monday, Mastriano said Ellis’ “talent, experience and legal expertise” will help him defeat Democrat Josh Shapiro, the two-term attorney general, in the Nov. 8 general election.

On Ellis’ podcast, Mastriano has spoken about finding evidence of voter fraud, how to reverse Trump’s election loss, and how to connect with a group that includes Ellis after the 2020 election.

“We often talked or texted each other,” Mastriano said. “I’ve asked you for advice and constitutional recommendations, and once again all Jen and I or anyone else talked about was a legal, constitutional approach.”

Last year, Mastriano claimed this on a radio show Trump had “asked me” to run for governor.

In addition to promoting Trump’s lies about nonexistent, widespread voter fraud that cost him the 2020 election, Mastriano was outside the US Capitol when he did so a mob of Trump supporters overrun it during the deadly uprising 2021.


He later tried to bring a partisan Arizona-style electoral review to Pennsylvania before he was relieved of his committee chairmanship over it in a dispute with Senate GOP leaders.

Federal and state returning officers Trump’s own Attorney General have said there is no credible evidence that the election was rigged. Added to this were the allegations of fraud by the former president flatly rejected by the courtsalso by judges appointed by him.

In February, Mastriano was subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol over his efforts to topple Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania by leaving lawmakers — instead of voters — to the hands of legislators. Pennsylvania Presidential Electoral Awards in favor of Trump.


That’s what a lawyer for Mastriano said FBI agents questioned Mastriano. Mastriano told the FBI he knew nothing of a planned insurgency or coordination behind the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, the attorney said.


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Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission. Mastriano brings the election denier into Pa’s gubernatorial campaign

Sarah Y. Kim

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