A group of Republicans led by Craig Snyder, a consultant and the former chief-of-staff for the late Sen. Arlen Specter, is opposing the GOP nominee for governor, state Sen. Doug Mastriano.
And that group, which includes former Bucks County Congressman Jim Greenwood, has now formed a political action committee (PAC), Republicans4Shapiro, to raise money for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
The PAC’s website claims Mastriano, a retired Army colonel, is “radical” and “not a Republican.”
Mastriano, an outspoken, pro-Trump candidate did not respond to requests for comment.
Snyder, a one-time U.S. Senate candidate himself, acknowledged he is on the moderate-to-liberal side of the GOP, hardly a surprise given he worked for liberal Republican Arlen Specter — who ended his career as a Democrat. Polls show most Pennsylvania Republicans are sticking with Mastriano rather than following the Republicans4Shapiro lead.
“Of course, the Montgomery County Republican Committee supports the Mastriano-DelRosso ticket,” said MCRC chair Liz Preate Havey. (State Rep. Carrie DelRosso is the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor).
“Shapiro–the top cop in Pennsylvania–watched our cities be looted and rioted and did nothing,” Havey added. “He and his party are more concerned about ‘woke’ policies than they are about providing safe communities and solutions for our hard-working families who are struggling to put food on the table because of the soaring inflation and gas prices.
“Doug Mastriano will lift executive orders that have destroyed businesses in Pennsylvania, rescind job-crushing regulations that killed our energy sector in Pennsylvania, and, in Doug’s words, ‘fight like hell to fully fund the student and give kids everywhere access to fair and equal education.’”
Some area Republicans told the Delaware Valley Journal they support Mastriano, who was also endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Philadelphian Elliott Tessler said he knows some people think Mastriano is “too extreme.” But he added, “I’m going to vote for him.”
Abington resident Carol Gash was surprised to hear about the group of Republicans supporting Shapiro.
“That’s crazy,” she said. “That’s what I think. I don’t understand why they would do that.” Gash supports Mastriano’s pro-life stance. “I stand with him on that so (saying it’s too extreme) doesn’t move me one bit.”
Charlie Gerow, a Republican consultant who ran for governor, said, “These are the same [Republicans] who asked us to vote for Joe Biden. How’s that working out? The simple truth is that there are always people who, for a variety of reasons, support candidates of the opposite party.
“Undoubtedly, Sen. Mastriano will have some Democrats who support him,” said Gerow.
Snyder said, “I’m receiving a steady stream of contacts from Republicans, from rank and file voters to folks who have credentials as party stalwarts for many years, who want to join this effort.”
But he also has abundant critics within the GOP.
“As expected, the pro-Mastriano camp is calling us ‘RINOS’ and lots of unprintable epithets as well,” said Snyder.
John Featherman, a decidedly moderate Republican who ran for mayor of Philadelphia, said, “Republicans4Shapiro is less about endorsing Shapiro and more about stopping Mastriano and his right-wing, extremist views. These moderate Republicans support abortion rights, gay rights, and clean elections. Many Mastriano supporters will label them ‘RINOs’ (Republicans in Name Only) in an attempt to marginalize them. But the PAC has money and it will run commercials that will be damaging to Mastriano’s campaign.”