Courier Express - 

May 13, 2022

Sen. Doug Mastriano, candidate for governor, holds rally in Big Run

BIG RUN — State Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor, held a campaign rally in Big Run Wednesday evening as part of his bus tour ahead of next week’s primary election.

Mastriano retired from the U.S. Army as a colonel in 2017 after 30 years of active service. He earned a doctorate degree of history and four master’s degrees in strategic studies, strategic intelligence, military operations and airpower theory.

He first entered politics in 2018 as a candidate for Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District. In 2019, he was elected as the senator of Pennsylvania’s 33rd District, which includes all of Adams County and parts of Franklin, Cumberland and York counties.

“(I) Never wanted to run for office, never wanted to be in politics, but as I was leaving the Army, my heart was broken. I was in worse shape than how I got it from my dad’s generation, and I could not do that. So that’s the thing that has the RINOs (Republican in name only), the establishment, the ruling class, the consultants so worried. They see someone in me that is like any veteran, has sacrificed for this country,” Mastriano said.

He asked those who collected signatures for his campaign to raise their hands, and thanked them for their hard work. He said he needed 2,000 signatures and got 29,000, which he claimed is a record for a Republican. He then said “the establishment” is now trying to decide which candidates were going to drop out in an attempt to make sure he doesn’t win the primary.

“So, the goal of my administration is to roll back regulation and roll back the tax burden any way I can,” Mastriano said. “We’re going to wield that pen to the benefit of the people of Pennsylvania. I do have executive power as governor and on day one a lot of things, it’s going to be called ‘follow the science’ kind of pen.”

He then listed some of what his first executive orders will be if he wins the race for governor, including:

  • “Guys can’t compete in girls sports;”
  • “Same things with bathrooms in schools;”
  • “We’re the 12th member, soon to be, of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative…On day one stroke of a pen we’re out of RGGI, we’re done.”

He later gave a goal for his first 100 days in office to take the number of state regulations from 153,000 to below 100,000.

He then went on to speak about energy production in the state.

“Pennsylvania is the third greatest energy producer in the nation, in a time when we should be energy independent, especially when Vladimir Putin is behaving badly…My goal as governor, after my eight years are up, we’ll be number one in energy production,” Mastriano said.

He spoke about the high gas tax in the state, saying the plan in 2013 was a Republican plan to fix roads and bridges.

“How are those roads and bridges looking?” Mastriano asked. “And like you, I’m like ‘wait a second I thought this gas tax was going to fix these stupid bridges.’ Forty percent of our bridges have exceeded their lifespan, that’s a problem.”

He also said he’s “had his eye on education,” saying Pennsylvania is the 12th most expensive in the nation spending $19,000 per student and is 28th in quality of students. He said some school districts are “great” and others “aren’t so good.”

He said with $30 billion, the government is funding a system “that is falling apart in many places in the state.” Mastriano said he plans to have a “knock down, drag out fight for the unions” about school choice.

“Instead of $30 billion a year being assigned to a system that’s collapsing, that’s inefficient – for example the first billion dollars does not even cover the salaries of principals and superintendents across the state. The idea now is to take that money and assign it to education scholarships to kids, and it won’t be the full $19,000. The goal is to bring the price down by making more competition. The idea is, these education scholarships, you choose the school. Private school, homeschool, cyber school, you pick the institution and you send your kids,” Mastriano said.

Mastriano also said Act 77 requiring voter ID “needs to happen,” and that he was a co-sponsor for this bill.

“Our vision for Pennsylvania is for a bright future,” Mastriano said. “It’s been an honor fighting for you for the past two years. We don’t want to see these freedoms evaporate… When America ceases to be free, where else would you go? Where else is there?”