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In Tonight’s PA GOP Primary Debate, Get Ready for A Display of Out-Of-Touch Extremism From The Leading Candidates

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Tonight, the leading Pennsylvania Republican candidates for governor will finally face off in a primary debate. With Lou Barletta, Doug Mastriano, Bill McSwain and Dave White taking the stage, the debate is guaranteed to be a display of the far-right extremism that has defined the chaotic primary.

As the primary election gets closer, the leading candidates have raced even further to the far-right. The field’s frontrunner, Doug Mastriano, who is best known for attending the January 6th insurrection and busing people to the Capitol, was just campaigning “at an event promoting QAnon and conspiracy theories about 9/11,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

The candidates are also attacking each other as they desperately try to prove their loyalty to Donald Trump. A couple of weeks ago, after Trump sent a scathing anti-endorsement of Bill McSwain, Dave White immediately rushed to start airing new ads attacking McSwain for Trump’s comments. McSwain also went after White for accepting government pandemic loans in 2020 while self-funding his campaign now.

With the candidates repeatedly embracing the Big Lie and taking on extreme views on abortion, Pennsylvanians can count on seeing their far-right agendas on display tonight.

In a sign of how scared the GOP candidates are to answer for their records, this debate comes as Barletta, McSwain, and White’s campaigns all previously signed a letter saying they won’t answer questions in a debate unless certain conditions are met, including that moderators must be registered Republicans and questions must not have answers shorter than 30 seconds.

“The candidates in the primary have made it clear they value loyalty to Donald Trump and pushing far-right, out-of-touch agendas over everything else,” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Sam Newton. “ Instead of answering questions on the issues that matter, tonight’s debate is guaranteed to be another display of the GOP field’s far-right extremism in prime time.”