Governors

Doug Mastriano Refuses To Name Secretary of State Choice

Yesterday, the HuffPost reported that Pennsylvania GOP Governor nominee and January 6 insurrectionist Doug Mastriano has chosen his Secretary of State appointee, but has refused to reveal a name. As one of the premier spokespersons for the Big Lie, a Mastriano appointment would surely align with his conspiracies and could ultimately seek to rig the outcome of the 2024 Presidential election.

There is speculation that the appointee is either “Trump adviser Jenna Ellis, who is now advising the Mastriano campaign; Toni Shuppe, the co-founder of Audit the Vote PA, a group that sought to decertify the results of Trump’s loss in Pennsylvania; or Ivan Raiklin, an associate of former Trump advisers who spread baseless conspiracy theories about the election in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection.”

Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial power to appoint the secretary of state has a brighter spotlight this midterm season as Republican election deniers have dialed in on the position nationwide to push their anti-democratic agenda. Mastriano as governor would be dangerous for the voices of Pennsylvanians.

HuffPost: Doug Mastriano Is Keeping A Big Secret From Pennsylvania Voters

By Travis Waldron and Christopher Mathias | July 31, 2022

Key Points:

  • “Doug Mastriano has a secret. The Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor says he’s chosen someone to serve as the commonwealth’s next secretary of state — a position that will hold enormous power over the 2024 presidential election. But he won’t tell voters who it is.”

  • “Because Pennsylvania is among the states in which the governor appoints the secretary of state, the 2022 gubernatorial race is essentially a “Buy one, get one” deal for Republican election deniers: A Mastriano victory all but ensures that the next secretary of the commonwealth will be someone who shares his anti-democratic zeal toward the 2020 election and who could work closely with Mastriano to roll back voting rights, overhaul Pennsylvania’s election system or even refuse to certify future results, including in the 2024 presidential contest.”

  • “‘As governor, I get to appoint the secretary of state. And I have a voting-reform-minded individual who’s been traveling the nation and knows voting reform extremely well,” Mastriano said during an April appearance on ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast. ‘That individual has agreed to be my secretary of state.’ He later told a local Pennsylvania news station that he has already assembled ‘a team of people that would work for this individual.’”

  • “Mastriano’s refusal to name his pick has fueled speculation about whom he might choose, and progressives in the state have listened closely for clues in order to develop a working list of contenders. Mastriano once referred to his choice as a ‘her’ and said it would be ‘one of the leading figures of the nation on voting integrity.’ He claims the ‘team around her’ would include ‘several people that are very knowledgeable of Pennsylvania, who are going to get the elections cleaned up in my first year.’”

  • “Their best guesses — and they are just informed guesses — are Mastriano allies who share his fervor for the ‘big lie.’ They include former Trump adviser Jenna Ellis, who is now advising the Mastriano campaign; Toni Shuppe, the co-founder of Audit the Vote PA, a group that sought to decertify the results of Trump’s loss in Pennsylvania; and Ivan Raiklin, an associate of former Trump advisers who spread baseless conspiracy theories about the election in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection.”

Read the full report here.