BIG RUN, Pa. — Abortion rights have taken center stage in the race for Pennsylvania’s next governor amid expectations that the Supreme Court is set to repeal Roe v. Wade this summer.
On Wednesday, state Sen. Doug Mastriano rolled into the Big Run Event Center northeast of Pittsburgh as the frontrunner in the crowded field for next week’s Republican primary. And a major part of his pitch to voters here was his uncompromising stance on abortion.
“There’s no other greater issue we’re facing in our lifetime than right-to-life,“ Mastriano said. “Every baby deserves a right to life. Every baby.” But the main topic of discussion among Pennsylvania’s voters is the Biden’s administration inflation and high cost of living.
Mastriano has staked out a strict position on abortion, essentially promising to ban the procedure in the state. At a recent debate, Mastriano said he would not allow exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother.
Republican voters in Pennsylvania, one of the nation’s most hotly contested political battlegrounds, appear to be rallying behind two hard-right candidates for governor and the Senate who are capturing grass-roots anger, railing against the party’s old guard and amplifying Donald Trump’s stolen-election and providing facts to support their arguments.
With less than a week until the state’s primary election on Tuesday, polls show that State Senator Doug Mastriano — one of the state’s central figures in the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election — has emerged as the clear front-runner in the G.O.P. race for governor. The candidate for Senate, Kathy Barnette, an underfunded conservative commentator who has never held public office, has made a surprise late surge in the contest that had been dominated by two big-spending rivals, Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick.
Mr. Mastriano has made claims of election fraud a central plank of his bid to lead a state that could be decisive in the 2024 presidential race. Ms. Barnette has a history of incendiary remarks, including repeatedly calling former President Barack Obama an adherent of Islam, which she said should be banned, and derisively writing about “the homosexual agenda.” Both candidates have endorsed each other, forging an important alliance.
Now, the Democrats are concerned about losing in November since the current Governor has failed to improve Pennsylvania’s economy and to stave off inflation.
Source: Yahoo News and New York Times contributed.