Doug Mastriano is a far-right state senator who won the May 2022 Republican primary for governor of Pennsylvania and ran with Trump’s endorsement, but ultimately lost to Democrat Josh Shaprio in November. Since the 2020 presidential election, he has insisted that the election was stolen and is so extreme in his views that he rarely speaks to or through any mainstream media outlets, including Fox News. Axios dubs him “Trumpier than Trump.”
Mastriano participated in an October 2021 QAnon meeting in Las Vegas where a group of five MAGA politicians announced a plan to “control the election system.” He is also closely affiliated with a woman he reportedly would have appointed as secretary of state if he had won the gubernatorial race who considers QAnon to be “a very valuable resource.”
Given his involvement with trying to send a fake slate of pro-Trump electors to Congress on Jan. 6, the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the Capitol subpoenaed Mastriano in February 2022. In September 2022, he sued the committee, claiming that it could not legally compel him to cooperate.
Prior to entering politics, Mastriano served in the Army between 1988 and 2017, retiring as a colonel. He then taught at the U.S. Army War College. As a state senator since 2019, he has argued for eliminating property taxes and increased border security.
Mastriano’s 2022 gubernatorial campaign was controversial for many other reasons, including his appropriation of symbols of Jewish culture (such as the shofar), a horn that members of the religious right have adopted, and concerns about his dubious campaign finance reporting. In addition, he hired a security team with at least one member who is tied to the Oath Keepers and is closely allied with the self-styled prophet Julie Green, who has claimed that President Biden is actually dead and former President Obama controls his body double.
January 6, 2021
- Mastriano paid for three buses to bring Trump supporters to Washington to protest on Jan. 6.
- He was listed as an “important guest” at the March to Save America rally held at the Ellipse prior to the attack on the Capitol.
- Mastriano was photographed outside the Capitol that day along with another elected official from Pennsylvania.
- The House Select Committee investigating the attack subpoenaed Mastriano because of a Nov. 28, 2020 tweet stating that he was attempting to get the Pennsylvania state legislature to change the state’s electors.
The Big Lie
- On Nov. 25, 2020, Mastriano helped organize a mock hearing to claim that the Pennsylvania results were fraudulent and that Trump had actually won the state.
- Trump called in to the state Senate Majority Policy Committee meeting that day, falsely claiming that “this election was rigged, and we can’t let that happen.”
- That evening Mastriano attempted to attend a strategy session at the White House but when he tested positive for Covid he left.
- Just days after the Pennsylvania state legislature certified Biden’s victory, Mastriano introduced a resolution to reverse the certification.
- Mastriano requested an audit in Fulton County, Pennsylvania. This was conducted by Trump attorney Sidney Powell’s group, which hired Wake Technology Services, Inc. (Wake TSI) to audit the election equipment.
- In June 2021, Mastriano visited the Arizona audit in progress.
Post-2020 Election Subversion
- Mastriano ran for governor of Pennsylvania in 2022 as part of a group of MAGA Republicans who said they aimed to take “control” of the electoral process. If he had been elected, he could have chosen a different state of electors than one reflecting the will of voters.
- He would also have had the power to appoint the secretary of state and indicated that he would choose Toni Schuppe, co-founder of the election-denial group Audit the Vote PA.