HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania State Senator and 2022 gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano says he plans to make an announcement on Thursday, potentially setting up a run for U.S. Senate in 2024.
Mastriano spoke to abc27’s Seth Kaplan at the State Capitol about the planned announcement on Monday while promoting a new law and raising awareness for the state’s “Move Over Law.”
“I got into politics to try to make a difference for the next generation so what am I going to do on Thursday, it’s going to be based on where I think I can be most effective. Can I be more effective in Harrisburg or can I be more effective in D.C.?”
Mastriano would be the first Republican to officially throw his hat into the ring for the 2024 Senate race where the May primary election winner would likely face incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Bob Casey.
Mastriano previously disclosed he was considering a run for Senate in an interview with POLITICO where he said he and his wife Rebbie were praying about whether to enter the race.
An April Franklin & Marshall poll showed Mastriano leading 2022 Senate candidate Dave McCormick 42% to 28%. The same poll showed Casey leading Mastriano in a hypothetical matchup 47% to 31%.
A State Senator representing Adams and Franklin Counties, Mastriano won the 2022 Republican primary for Governor with 43.82% after receiving an endorsement from former president Donald Trump.
Mastriano would go on to lose the November general election to Democrat Josh Shapiro by more than 800,000 votes. During the race he was painted by Democrats as an extreme candidate on issues such as abortion and elections. He was also deposed by the January 6 committee after video appeared to show him in Washington D.C. on January 6.
Prior to entering politics Mastriano served in the U.S. Army for 30 years and taught at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle.
Some Republicans have also been skeptical of a possible Mastriano Senate run. State Representative Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) told abc27 he is “adamantly opposed” to Mastriano running for Senate after a blowout loss in 2022 despite “believing most of the things he believes.”
“We certainly can’t have a repeat of that in 2024 with him at the top of the ticket. I do believe that he was one of the three factors that caused (Republicans) to lose the majority in the House of Representatives. And I don’t want to lose any more seats. I would rather be in the majority so we can make good policy and make Pennsylvania a better place.”
Diamond acknowledged that Mastriano has “built a (political) machine” on the campaign trail, but ultimately Mastriano run would be “good news for Democrats”