As the election approached, the campaign apparently sought to create a bit more structure. He recently shared contact details with supporters of six regional directors or director teams in charge of different parts of the state, though few appear to have much political experience.
As Mastriano’s events have started to pick up steam — he recently held a rally in Pittsburgh with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and has another planned with Donald Trump in Wilkes-Barre — small get-togethers tend to be affordable. The Pennsburg event was hosted at Jurin Roofing Services, which the campaign says is also its new regional campaign office. The owner, a campaign staffer noted, lets the campaign use the facility for free. He also donated $2,000, which the campaign blew into a huge ceremonial check.
Beishl, a Bucks County-based organizer and Conservative radio show host, is one of the few regional managers to have worked on campaigns in the past.
During the speech at the Pennsburg event in which he acknowledged Mastriano’s financial disadvantage, he emphasized that relatively moderate voters in the populous suburbs of Philadelphia “will be key for us to win this election.”
“Get your friends to volunteer, knock on doors and work in the polls,” he said.
After the event, Beishl declined to comment on the financial health or structure of the campaign, saying all reporters must first email a press account and be vetted before staff speak to them. An email on the account went unanswered.
This has been a constant throughout the campaign. Mastriano kept his media appearances almost exclusively on right-wing radio and television shows. As with all Mastriano events, the press who presented themselves as such in Pennsburg were confined to a paddock away from fans and out of reach of speeches. Campaign staff did not notice or stop reporter WHYY who was watching the event from the crowd.
Much of Mastriano’s speech dwelt on social issues. He has repeatedly told his supporters that he believes himself to be a feminist, due to his work to ban transgender women and girls from participating in sports with cisgender women. It’s an increasingly common topic of discussion among the right wing of the GOP, although it’s rare for trans women and girls to participate in organized sports, and Republicans in Pennsylvania said they had no idea how many transgender athletes are in the commonwealth.
He poked fun at former Health Secretary Rachel Levine, who is transgender, and the crowd joined him.
On several occasions, he also spoke of his opposition to school closures, vaccine and mask mandates and the teaching of critical race theory – an academic setting mostly confined to higher education which examines the impact of structural racism on American institutions.
Some of the biggest cheers came when Mastriano spoke about his plans for the US southern border.
‘We can’t afford to have illegals in Pennsylvania,’ he said, before adding that the Biden administration is bringing ‘ghost flights’ full of undocumented immigrants to Pennsylvania — another topic. fairly common right-wing discussion piece that sensationalises a common part of the US immigration system.
The Montgomery County crowd was uniformly enthusiastic. But among supporters, it was clear that some worried Mastriano would raise enough money to win over swing voters who aren’t yet on board.
Waiting in the roofing company’s parking lot before Mastriano’s speech, a man fell into a conversation with a campaign volunteer about strategy. He wanted to know if these types of little meet-and-greets were the campaign’s main plan to compete with the well-funded Shapiro?
“You know, less than 90 days ago,” he said. “What else is being done to get people out?”
The employee did not answer this question. The big problem, she says, is voter fraud. No matter what kind of campaign Mastriano runs, she doesn’t think the results will be reliable anyway.