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PA Republican Gov Primary Begins with Candidate Vowing to “Advance the Trump Movement”

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The Pennsylvania Republican governor primary has its first candidate, and he’s already setting the tone for dangerous extremism. In his announcement, Montgomery County commissioner Joe Gale said he’s entering the race to “continue advancing the Trump movement” and “hold bad Republicans accountable” – signaling to other PA Republicans that the primary will be a Trump litmus test.

Gale is a right-wing extremist who has helped spread the violent, dangerous rhetoric that led to the January 6th insurrection, and supported Republican attempts to overturn the election. He has also vowed to reverse common sense election reforms and institute tactics like voter ID laws meant to disenfranchise communities of color and limit voter turnout.

Gale is most known for spreading the harmful, debunked claim that reproductive health care provider Planned Parenthood is an “abortion mill” that murders a ”disproportionate number of innocent black unborn babies,” and being sued for blocking his own constituents online. Last year, he was the subject of protests calling for his resignation. Gale proudly proclaims himself as the “first elected official in Pennsylvania to endorse Donald Trump for President” in 2016.

Like Gale, PA Republicans haven’t given up on Trump at the state level, and it appears they plan to ostracize anyone who doesn’t show loyalty to the disgraced, twice-impeached former president.

Gale said, “We cannot afford to replace Gov. Wolf and Sen. Toomey with establishment puppets or fake conservatives.” Republicans across the state are currently battling over how to handle Toomey’s vote for impeachment, with some wanting to censure him. The chair of the Washington County Republican party said, “We did not send him there to vote his conscience. We did not send him there to do the right thing, whatever he said he was doing.”

“Pennsylvania Republicans’ message for 2022: ‘We’re not here to do the right thing,’” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Christina Amestoy. “Gale and PA Republicans have clearly stated their intentions. They are only here for Trump and their own political careers – they don’t care about improving the quality of life for Pennsylvanians.”