The Pennsylvania Republican spoke at a meeting over the weekend hosted by QAnon followers and attended by a diverse array of conspiracy theorists.
Doug Mastriano, running for governor of Pennsylvania, attended a Patriots Arise event in Gettysburg last weekend, attended by QAnon followers, diverse conspiracy theorists, and GOP candidates for state office in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
The event was organized by two QAnon followers, Allen and Francine Fosdick. The Fosdicks are the founders and "overseers" of the People of Prophetic Powers Ministry. Their mission, according to their website, is "transforming lives through the Love of Jesus, healing the sick, imparting prophetically, raising up sons and daughters and ministering nationally and internationally winning souls with the Resurrection power of the Holy Spirit."
"God is really working in our state," Mastriano said in his speech. "I know things are dark ... but we're going to win on May 17 with your help. And in November, we're going to take our state back. My God will make it so. Pennsylvania's going to be the freest, most hopeful, and most constitutionally based state in the nation."
He added: "You think Florida looks good? It's amateur hour after we're done."
Florida has become a beacon of right-wing values under Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has pushed an anti-LGBTQ agenda and pursued phony claims of "election fraud" in order to suppress voting rights.
The Pennsylvania state Republican party has not yet endorsed a candidate in the governor's race, but Mastriano and former Republican House member Lou Barletta are currently leading the primary field, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The primary election is on May 13.
Mastriano, like many GOP candidates running for office in 2022, attended the Jan. 6, 2021, "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the deadly riots that took place at the U.S. Capitol. Mastriano even reserved charter buses to Washington, DC, on the day of the insurrection, and expensed $3,354 to his state Senate campaign for "bus reservations." On Feb. 15, Mastriano was subpoenaed by the U.S. House select committee investigating the insurrection. He has so far refused to testify in front of the House Select Committee.
Other GOP candidates for state office in attendance at the event included Teddy Daniels, who is running for lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania; Rick Bowers, who is running for state senate in Maryland; and Dan Cox, who is running for governor in Maryland.
Daniels — who describes himself as a "pro-Trump, America First combat veteran who won't back down" — attended the Jan. 6, 2021 "Stop the Steal" rally outside the U.S. Capitol. He has been accused of domestic abuse and an Internal Affairs investigation into "unbecoming conduct" in the police department where he worked.
"I can promise the people of Pennsylvania this: when we get in in '22, we are going to revamp the entire system for when Trump runs in '24. That's what needs to happen," Daniels said in a recent appearance on a right-wing podcast.
In a candidates' debate on Wednesday night, Mastriano signaled his support for purging voting rolls and requiring voters to re-register every election cycle — a tried-and-true tactic to get fewer people to vote overall.
"We're going to reset, in fact, registration. You'll have to re-register, we're going to start all over again," he said.
Mastriano did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.