Mastriano Speaks Out. Congressional Vulnerability Ratings. Fetterman Returns. MegaMillions Jackpot Now $660M. Here is the Playbook.
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1. “We’re Gonna Smoke Josh Shapiro Like a Bad Cigar”
One of the challenges for the media covering the Republican candidate for the Pennsylvania governor’s mansion is his unwillingness to speak to traditional media.
Doug Mastriano has been willing to speak on the record to more friendly, right-wing outlets, such as Bannon’s War Room on social media platform, GETTR.
The state senator from Franklin County did just that on Wednesday in an 11-minute interview and had a few things to say about Democrats, POLITICO, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Josh Shapiro, and MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace.
- A Jewish Republican Group is Denouncing Doug Mastriano’s Links to an Extremist Social-Media Site. “Doug Mastriano is facing blistering criticism from Jewish leaders — both Democrats and Republicans — following the disclosure that he’s using Gab, a social-media site favored by extremists and antisemites, to advertise his Republican campaign for governor.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- A Documentary Featuring Doug Mastriano Was Screened in a Church. Now People Are Filing IRS Complaints. “Laura Solomon runs an Ardmore law firm that represents nonprofit, charitable, and other tax-exempt organizations. She said the screening, along with Mastriano’s presence, “potentially jeopardizes the church’s tax-exempt status. But, she added, the IRS is “woefully underfunded” and unlikely to take enforcement action.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- Dems’ Risky Strategy: Elevate GOP Election Deniers. “Political groups and nonprofit organizations linked to the Democratic Party have spent nearly $44 million on ads that have raised the profile of far-right candidates in Republican primaries in at least five states, according to Open Secrets, a nonpartisan group that tracks U.S. campaign spending.” (Christian Science Monitor)
2. Pennsylvania Congressional Vulnerability: July 2022 Rating
This is a busy midterm election year for the Pennsylvania House delegation: The state has thoroughly redrawn its districts after experiencing the loss of one seat, from 18 to 17, and these contests will likely be shaped by currents from the high-stakes gubernatorial and Senate races.
Here, for the seventh consecutive election cycle, PoliticsPA is assembling its list of most vulnerable House seats in the Pennsylvania congressional delegation, based on reporting with state and national analysts. As usual, we have rank-ordered the seats in descending order, from the most vulnerable to a party switch to the least vulnerable.
The top three races — the seats held by Democratic Reps. Susan Wild and Matt Cartwright and the open seat being vacated by Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb – are currently in our “highly vulnerable” category.
- Five PA Senate Races to Watch in 2022. “The nation’s eyes are on the commonwealth’s high-profile, high-stakes races for the U.S. Senate, House and governor – but majority rule in Washington, D.C. and the executive mansion aren’t the only things up for grabs in this year’s general election.” (City & State)
- Newly Naturalized Citizens Could Sway Elections in Key States. “The number of immigrants who became U.S. citizens in Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Florida between fiscal years 2016 and 2020 is greater than the 2020 presidential margin of victory in each of those states.” (Axios)
3. Fetterman Returns With Three Fundraising Appearances
Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate John Fetterman returned to the campaign trail – albeit in a private sense – Thursday, making appearances at three different fundraising events.
Democratic Jewish Outreach for Pennsylvania opened the evening and attendees said the candidate appeared healthy and in good spirits, while acknowledging that he has not yet fully recovered. DJOP leaders said he spoke at their event for nearly half an hour about both policy and campaign strategy, including the recent House vote to protect contraception and the Supreme Court’s ruling last month overturning abortion rights.
“He was very transparent about the fact that he had a stroke two months ago… so kind of bear with him a bit because he’s not 100% and he’s on his way back,” DJOP founder Brett Goldman said. “But he’s super excited to get back out there, and you can see that just in the way that he was interacting with the crowd.” (Jewish Insider)
- Fetterman Inching Back Onto Campaign Trail Two Months After Stroke. “After being sidelined as he recovered from the stroke, Fetterman is starting to gingerly hold a few private events and build up to what he hopes will be larger public appearances. In coming days, he is set to hold his first formal in-person campaign stops since a blood clot in his brain nearly killed him in mid-May.” (POLITICO)
- Oz Takes Off Gloves in PA Senate Race, Calls Out Fetterman For ‘Hiding.’ “Oz has unleashed a new line of attack on Democrat John Fetterman for laying low following his medical crisis after remaining silent on the situation for several weeks.” (PennLive)
- ‘Dr. Oz Is The Key’: Nikki Haley Makes Endorsement in Pennsylvania Senate Race. “Former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley endorsed Dr. Mehmet Oz Thursday in the heated Pennsylvania Senate race.” (Washington Examiner)
Regional Spotlight: North and Northwest
- Rail Advocates Discuss What’s Proposed, What’s Needed to Expand Erie Passenger Service. “Rail advocates hope to expand Erie passenger train service with help from an Erie County Rail Futures Commission. The commission was created by Erie County Council this past fall, but has not been seated since a December derailment over member appointments.” (Erie Times-News)
- Shapiro Makes Campaign Stop in Oil City. “Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro brought his campaign for governor to Oil City on Tuesday, and the Democrat told voters they “have the power” to shape Pennsylvania’s future with their vote in an election year when “all is on the line.” (The Derrick)
- Red Flag Law Could Save Countless PA Lives. But We Have to Act Now. (Jenice Armstrong, Philadelphia Inquirer)
- Pennsylvanians Deserve to Know Fetterman’s Condition – and Reporters Must Ask (Broad + Liberty)
- Republicans Believe in School Choice – For Others (Greg Dolan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Allegheny County Executive Navigates Complex Issue With Competing Constituencies (Dean McFarlin, Tribune-Review)
- How Innovative Education Can Help Pennsylvania’s Economy (Gordon Tomb, Erie Times-News)