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May 13, 2022

Doug Mastriano makes election reform his top priority in bid for Pennsylvania governor

The Republican lawmaker has gained national attention for his failed attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential race

2022 Election Governor

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican candidate for governor, has called for election reform efforts that include a voter ID requirement, increased poll watchers and bans on no-excuse mail-in voting and ballot boxes.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano has made election reform the hallmark issue of his campaign for Pennsylvania governor, promoting his ties to former President Donald Trump and pushing unproven election fraud claims ahead of Tuesday's primary election.

Mastriano, a Republican who represents the 33rd Senate District, has gained national attention for refusing to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election. He has alleged widespread voter fraud and advanced Trump's baseless claims that the race was stolen by President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party.

MORE CANDIDATE PROFILES: Pennsylvania governor's race takes shape as test of state's political identity

The strategy appears to have helped him court voters. Polls show Mastriano has a sizable lead in the race. 

A retired U.S. Army colonel, Mastriano has called for giving the Republican-controlled state legislature the power to choose electors, proposing a state constitutional amendment requiring voter ID, increasing poll watchers and banning no-excuse mail-in voting and ballot boxes. He's also called on the GOP to only elect candidates who are committed to addressing unproven claims of election fraud.

In February, Mastriano, 58, was subpoenaed by the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 

He was ordered to turn over documents and provide testimony regarding his alleged plan to send pro-Trump electors from Pennsylvania to Congress, his conversations with the former president, his calls with Justice Department officials to investigate allegations of voter fraud and his presence at the U.S. Capitol on the day of the attack.

Mastriano's attempts to overturn the results of the election have fallen short. His demands of three counties, including Philadelphia, to turn over voting equipment and election-related materials as part of a "forensic investigation" have not been met. Mastriano ultimately lost his committee chairmanship to oversee the review.

Mastriano initially gained attention in 2020 for protesting Pennsylvania's COVID-19 restrictions and opposing coronavirus vaccine mandates. Mastriano has said that, if elected, he would ban all COVID-19-related mandates in Pennsylvania, eliminate any pandemic emergency orders and expand access to alternative treatments for COVID-19.

Mastriano also has pledged to cut a bevy of taxes, spending and government regulations, increase funding into Pennsylvania's coal and natural gas industries, make Pennsylvania a constitutional carry state and expand school choice opportunities.

Last year, Mastriano re-introduced his Heartbeat Bill, legislation that would prevent abortions to any fetus with a beating heart. He called the leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft that would overturn Roe v. Wade a "good sign," praising the conservative justices for being ready "right this historic wrong." 

Mastriano was first elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate in 2019 in a special election. His district includes parts of Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties. He previously ran for Congress in 2018 in Pennsylvania's 13th Congressional District, but lost.

Before entering politics, Mastriano served for more than 30 years in the military. His deployments included tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and Europe.

The New Jersey native graduated with a bachelor's degree in history from Eastern University in St. Davids, Delaware County. Mastriano also has earned several masters degrees in a number of military-related fields, and a doctorate degree in history from Rutgers University. 

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