PA Primary Recap: Too Close To Tell Which A-Hole Running Against Democrat John Fetterman
The Pennsylvania primaries were last night, and here’s some objectively depressing news: Donald Trump’s Big Lie Booster Doug Mastriano won the GOP nomination for governor. He’ll face off against Democrat Josh Shapiro, who’s currently the attorney general and not a fascist.
Mastriano, a state senator, went full Christian nationalism during his campaign rallies. Last month, in a church parking lot in Pennsburg, he warned his supporters, “The forces of darkness are hitting us really hard right now. We’re going to bring the state back to righteousness, this is our day, our hour to take our state back and renew the blessings of America.”
Chilling our very soul, The Washington Post reported:
His wife, Rebbie, then told the crowd that her husband’s opponents are not just challenging another candidate but God. “When you’re against God’s plan, there is nothing that will stop it, and they are very worried right now that there is nothing that’s going to stop this.”
Mastriano’s acceptance speech was some seriously repugnant shit. He even threw in a transphobic joke at the expense of Dr. Rachel Levine, the United States assistant secretary for health who has done nothing to offend him other than exist.
The seditionist nominee has repeatedly said he wouldn’t have certified Joe Biden’s 2020 election win, and there’s no reason to believe he would if he was governor in 2024.
In short, every Pennsylvanian new and old must vote for Shapiro. Even typing the words Governor Doug Mastriano makes my fingers bleed.
Dr. Mehmet Oz ended the evening narrowly ahead of David McCormick in the GOP Senate primary. His margin is below 0.5 percent, so the race is headed toward an automatic recount. Last night, McCormick seemed confident he could still prevail because there were "tens of thousands of mail-in ballots that have not been counted.” We guess Republicans like mail-in ballots now.
MAGA loon Kathy Barnette’s late-breaking surge threatened Donald Trump’s MAGA kingmaking skills. The working theory is that Barnette pulled away enough hardcore MAGA support from Dr. Oz to make McCormick competitive. It also helped that McCormick actually lives in Pennsylvania --- OK, he just moved back -- and didn’t end the campaign with a creepy-ass statement like Oz did:
Oz: When you go to bed at night, put your head on that soft pillow, you\u2019ll know Oz will be doing exactly what you want him to do if you were there next to himpic.twitter.com/M1lkJgqzmU— Acyn (@Acyn) 1652751404
OZ: When you go to bed at night, put your head on that soft pillow, you’ll know Oz will be doing exactly what you want him to do if you were there next to him.
In fairness, the video just contains the last bizarre line from his final pitch, but it’s not clear that any greater context could help, unless what he’d said immediately prior was “Imagine for a moment that I’m a weird and disgusting person.”
There was far less suspense regarding the Democratic Senate primary. Cook Political Report editor Dave Wasserman had seen enough just 10 minutes after polls closed.
I've seen enough: Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) defeats Rep. Conor Lamb (D) in the #PASEN Dem primary.— Dave Wasserman (@Dave Wasserman) 1652832663
State Sen. Malcolm Kenyatta was also running, coming in third. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman beat him as well as Rep. Conor Lamb. Wasserman had enough characters left to give the brother his due.
Fetterman carried 59 percent of the vote and won every county in the state (including Philly and Allegheny).
Lamb’s concession statement hit the right beats, reading in part:
Today, voters made it clear that John Fetterman is their choice to carry that effort forward. I respect their decision and congratulate the Lt. Gov. on his victory. I hope that John has a speedy recovery from his stroke and from today’s surgery and can return to the campaign trail soon.
Our entire democracy is on the line in November. Democrats need to be unequivocally united in our defense of this democracy, and we will be. John’s vote in the Senate is essential to protect this democracy, and he will have my vote in November. I will do everything I can to help Democrats win.
Fetterman’s slam-bam-thank-you-ma’am victory is a good sign for Democrats, as the party clearly had a favorite. Republicans were slugging it out in their Senate primary and drawing blood. Even better, it could take days before the race is settled, and we can only expect Trump to throw several dozen conniption fits in the meantime.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."