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Trump Still Wants a Sham, Arizona-Style Election Audit in PA, Do the GOP Candidates for Governor Agree with Him?

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Donald Trump recently issued a statement demanding that Pennsylvania Republican legislators engage in a sham, partisan audit of the 2020 election, mirroring the audit in Arizona that’s “ground zero” of the ‘Big Lie’ that the 2020 election was stolen. This is raising the question: does the likely field of GOP candidates for governor agree?

Trump’s call for Republicans in Pennsylvania to fall in line behind his baseless accusations of voter fraud comes as far-right Pennsylvania Republican Senator and likely candidate for governor Doug Mastriano made a “conspiracy theory tourism” trip to Arizona last week. Mastriano heralded the sham process and indicated he agreed with Trump’s call for a similar one in Pennsylvania, saying, “If we do an audit in Pennsylvania — We need to do an audit and this is the model.”

As Trump calls for Pennsylvania Republicans to fall behind his ‘Big Lie,’  likely candidates in the GOP primary field for governor continue to go to extremes to prove their absolute loyalty to the former president. Doug Mastriano played a direct role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol, blowing past police barriers and paying thousands of dollars of campaign funds to bus people to the insurrection that left five people dead.

Declared candidate Lou Baretta, one of the first members of Congress to support Trump in 2016, still won’t admit Donald Trump lost the election. Meanwhile, Joe Gale has already launched ads trying to out-Trump fellow Republicans and said he entered the race to “continue advancing the Trump movement.” Then there’s Trump appointee Bill McSwain, who used taxpayer money to promote himself, but remained silent as Trump pushed election conspiracy theories to undermine the will of Pennsylvania voters – even though he didn’t prosecute a single case of fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

“Pennsylvania Republican candidates for governor have already demonstrated that they are willing to follow Donald Trump down whatever conspiracy theory-driven rabbit hole he leads them,” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Sam Newton. “Now that Trump has turned his obsession with the ‘Big Lie’ to Pennsylvania, Republicans in the race for governor must make it clear where they stand. Will they side with Pennsylvania voters who chose their elected officials in a free and fair democratic election or do they agree with the disgraced former president’s call for a sham, partisan election audit?”