Central PA News - 

Jul 26, 2022

Mastriano on Zeldin attack: ‘Politics should never be a battlefield with real casualties’

Responding to the recent attack on U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Pennsylvania state Sen. and GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano condemned politicians and media personnel who use inflammatory rhetoric, indicating his belief that it causes real violence.

"Politics should never be a battlefield with real casualties," Mastriano said in a statement. "Regrettably, the flammable rhetoric from Democrats, such as New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, my own opponent, and their pals in the liberal media, is putting targets on the backs of their Republican opponents. Not only will these Democrats not fight crime, but they're deliberately inciting  it."

The assassination on Zeldin, "is part of a broader pattern of violence that is being normalized by Democrats," he said. "Earlier this month, a liberal activist group offered bounties for information on the location of Supreme Court justices following their ruling on Roe v. Wade, even after an armed man was arrested near the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh."

Mastrian urged all Democrats – including his opponent – to "tone down their dangerous rhetoric, which is inciting violence across America. I also urge them to treat these incidents with the same degree of urgency and outrage that we see on display in their ongoing partisan campaign against peaceful conservative protesters.”

Zeldin, the Republican nominee in New York's gubernatorial race, was holding a campaign rally outside of Rochester when a man climbed onto the stage and attempted to attack him with a pointed keychain, the Associated Press reported.  Zeldin grappled with the man before other people intervened. The man was identified as David Jakubonis, 43. 

On Saturday, Jakubonis was arrested on federal assault charges, and after a hearing was ordered to remain behind bars until a bail hearing on Wednesday, AP reported.

"Thank you to everyone who reached out following tonight’s attack in Fairport. Someone tried to stab me on  stage during this evening’s rally, but fortunately, I was able to grab his wrist and stop him for a few moments until others tackled him," Zeldin said in a tweet. "I’m ok, and @EspositoforNY, and all other attendees are safe. The attacker is in custody. Grateful for the attendees who stepped up quickly to assist and the law enforcement officers who quickly responded. I’m as resolute as ever to do my part to make NY safe again."

ShutDownDC, which Fox News described as a left-wing activist group, offered a reward to anyone who shared the locations of the six conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices after they ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade. The bounty offer followed an incident at Morton's Steakhouse in Washington, D.C., where a crowd of protestors forced Justice Brett Kavanaugh to leave the restaurant through a back door.                   

Mastriano beat eight challengers to win the Republican nomination in Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race, according to Ballotpedia. He will face off against Democrat Josh Shapiro in the Nov. 8 general election.