(The Hill) – Eight of nine Republican Pennsylvania congressmen on Monday jointly endorsed GOP gubernatorial nominee and state Sen. Doug Mastriano.
Reps. John Joyce, Fred Keller, Mike Kelly, Dan Meuser, Scott Perry, Guy Reschenthaler, Lloyd Smucker and Glenn Thompson signed a letter saying that Mastriano, who is backed by former President Trump, “represents a better option and alternative” to the Democrat’s nominee, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
“Progressive policies supported by Joe Biden and Josh Shapiro have led to fewer jobs, higher crime rates, rampant drug addiction, and less freedom for Pennsylvania’s hard-working families,” the lawmakers wrote.
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Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was the only holdout among the Pennsylvania Republicans.
A spokeswoman for Fitzpatrick told The Hill in a statement that the congressman was tied up when the Pennsylvania GOP delegation met with Mastriano, and that a representative from his office attended instead.
“Rep. Fitzpatrick has yet to meet and/or speak with Sen. Mastriano regarding his plan for Pennsylvania, but hopes to have the chance to do so prior to the Fall elections,” said the spokeswoman.
Mastriano and Shapiro are fighting for the governor office being vacated by Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who has reached the state’s term limit.
A group of former Republican officials from Pennsylvania — including former Rep. Charlie Dent, a former lieutenant governor and a former state Supreme Court justice, among others — endorsed Shapiro last month.
Dent called Mastriano “an extremist who is a threat to the rule of law and the constitutional order.”
In a statement sharing the endorsement letter Monday, Mastriano thanked the lawmakers who backed him, calling them “great champions of liberty and prosperity.”
“Pennsylvanians have been deprived of their freedom for too long, under the harsh Democrat policies that Josh Shapiro will reinforce if elected,” Mastriano wrote.