Posted by on May 12, 2022 1:06 pm
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Pennsylvania Republicans don’t want election skeptic to win gubernatorial nod

Lou Barletta takes part in a forum for Republican candidates for governor of Pennsylvania at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference in Camp Hill, Pa., Friday, April 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Matt Rourke/AP

Pennsylvania Republicans don’t want election skeptic to win gubernatorial nod

Kate Scanlon May 12, 11:58 AMMay 12, 11:58 AM Video Embed

Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Jake Corman announced Thursday he would exit the race for governor and endorse Republican rival Lou Barletta. The move is seen as a last-ditch attempt for the Republican field to coalesce around a candidate other than state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who some in the state worry could win the Republican primary by a plurality but go on to lose the general election in the fall.

With Mastriano leading Republican primary polls in a crowded field, a reported plan for some of the other candidates to drop out and endorse Barletta emerged. In remarks explaining his decision to reporters, Corman joked he called Barletta to offer him one last chance to drop out and endorse him.

“It didn’t quite go that way,” Corman joked. He said it was time to unite around one candidate and that the candidate should be Barletta.

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In a statement, Corman said Barletta “is a hardworking former mayor and congressman who supports the America First Agenda.”

Corman argued Pennsylvania should “elect a Republican as governor,” and the “only thing that will prevent this is if we nominate someone who cannot possibly win in the fall, and that’s a real possibility with nine candidates in this race.”

“The time has come for me to show leadership and support someone who can win in November — and that’s my friend, Lou Barletta,” Corman said. “For the greater good of our party and for the people of Pennsylvania, I hope my fellow candidates will join me.”

Corman told reporters he knows his name will be on the ballot, and he even asked his mother to vote for Barletta instead of him.

Barletta was a House member from 2011 to 2019, and he was his party’s 2018 Senate nominee. Barletta was previously mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, where he made a national name for himself by fighting the use of public services by illegal immigrants.

Barletta told reporters that Corman was showing leadership and argued he was the best candidate to defeat Democratic candidate Josh Shapiro in November.

Some Pennsylvania Republicans have expressed concerns about Mastriano’s electability in a statewide race. He is a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump and backed his claims that the 2020 election was stolen. Mastriano has faced questions about a QAnon-linked event he attended in Gettysburg, as well as his attendance at the Washington, D.C., rally that took place before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

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Shapiro recently launched a campaign advertisement designed to boost Mastriano, likely showing he believes he can defeat him in the election.

The Cook Political Report has ranked Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race as a toss-up.

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Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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