Pennsylvania Republicans have sunk to a new low as they embrace wild conspiracy theories and dangerous lies to appease Donald Trump. 

PENNSYLVANIA — In their “super MAGA Trump” primary for Governor, Pennsylvania Republicans have hit a new low as they embrace the Big Lie and work overtime to earn Donald Trump’s support. Just days after Steve Bannon — Trump’s former chief political strategist — called the Big Lie a “litmus test” for Republican candidates in 2022, likely gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano traveled across the country to visit the widely criticized “audit” in Maricopa County, AZ as part of his bid for Trump’s endorsement.

Mastriano recently met with Trump in New York to talk about his expected campaign for governor, and as Trump “has grown increasingly consumed with ballot audits as he pushes falsehood that the election was stolen,” the Republican candidates for governor will increasingly focus their campaigns on absurd conspiracy theories and dangerous lies.  

In fact, embracing the Big Lie has already become a litmus test in the Republican primary. Since launching his campaign, Trump super-fan Lou Barletta has repeatedly made the absurd claim that “dead people have been voting in Pennsylvania for a long time. […] They can mail in their ballots from the cemetery,” and when asked whether Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election said, “can anybody really say?” Likewise, Bill McSwain has refused to say whether he believes the results of the 2020 election were valid, and Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale — the first Republican to enter the race — has launched ads that repeat Trump’s false claims about the election. 

“Phoenix, Arizona is more than 2,000 miles from Harrisburg, but it’s clear Pennsylvania Republicans like Doug Mastriano will travel to the ends of the Earth if it means getting Donald Trump’s endorsement,” said Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesman Brendan Welch. “The Republican candidates for governor continue to sink lower, embracing absurd conspiracy theories and dangerous lies — all to appease Trump and take up his pet issue.” 

While Pennsylvania Republicans fixate on the Big Lie and obsess over earning Trump’s support, election officials across the commonwealth are urging the Republican-led Legislature to pass real voting reform that would ensure “smooth and successful elections” and protect Pennsylvanians’ right to vote. PA Republicans should listen to our local election officials — not Donald Trump.