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Mastriano Promises ‘New Birth of Freedom’ for Pennsylvania on Campaign Bus Tour

LUZERNE, Pa.—Less than three weeks before Election Day, Republican candidate for Governor Doug Mastriano campaigned in Luzerne, Pennsylvania Saturday afternoon, Oct. 22, where he laid out the plan details should he win the gubernatorial race.

“We’re going to take our state back, and with you, we’re going to go in and win on Nov. 8. And when I’m sworn in on Jan. 17, there will be a new birth of freedom of Pennsylvania,” Mastriano said to a packed house of supporters at the Four Blooms restaurant.

From energy and education to crime and election integrity, Mastriano vowed numerous changes on day one of his administration, should he be elected.

Top Issues: Crime and Economy

“On day one, [Pennsylvania] will be a law-and-order state,” Mastriano told the crowd, noting that the No. 1 issue is crime. “We will hold state officials accountable for enforcing the law and prosecuting crime.”

He told The Epoch Times his opponent, Josh Shapiro, the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, “has failed the people of Pennsylvania.”

“Crime on his watch has gone up 40 percent, over 1,000 carjackings in Philadelphia alone, 4,400 robberies,” he said. “It’s incredible.”

Data from the Philadelphia Police Department shows that the number of homicide victims, as of Oct. 22, is 433 this year, up from 315 in all of 2017, when Shapiro assumed office.

On Sept. 27, reported carjackings in the city reached over 1,000 so far this year—twice that of last year.

According to data from the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting, the city’s 486 shooting deaths in 2021 were up 23 percent over 2020 and have nearly doubled since 2016.

“He has a record of six years. As our senior law enforcement official, he’s got one job—to uphold law and order in the state,” Mastriano said before hammering the lack of media coverage on Shapiro’s record. “The silence is deafening,” he added.

“On day one, we will hold criminals and crime—hold them all accountable. We’ll have the back of law enforcement,” he said. “On day one, we will no longer be a legal sanctuary state.”

The next of Mastriano’s top issues was inflation and the cost of living. “It’s costing about $5,000 or more a year to live at the same standard as last year,” he said. “Inflation is killing people financially and [they’re] making choices between heating or eating—that’s really kind of scary. We haven’t even started winter yet.”

“On day one of my administration, we’re going to open up our oil reserves, our coal, and our gas. And we’re going to start developing our energy sector like never before,” he said, adding that his goal is for Pennsylvania to “become number one in the nation. That’s going to bring a lot of money to our state, drive down prices, drive down inflation, and make it easier to live in Pennsylvania.”

He vowed that under his watch, the coal sector would see a boom not seen in many years. “We’re going to become a net exporter of this beautiful high-quality clean coal we have here. The industry has proven they can do it well and do it cleanly.”

Republican nominee for Pennsylvania Governor Doug Mastriano campaigns on stage in Luzerne, Pa., on Oct. 22, 2022. (Frank Liang/The Epoch Times)

Other Issues

An advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Oct. 20 recommended adding COVID-19 vaccines to the child and adolescent immunization schedules, despite the vaccines still being under emergency use authorization for some children. Many Americans are worried this opens the door for mandatory vaccination in schools and other public facilities.

Mastriano disagreed with the decision: “The jab for kids will not happen in Pennsylvania in the government of Mastriano. If you want to do it, do it. But if you don’t want to do it, don’t, and you’ll have the power and the weight in the minds of the Governor of Pennsylvania standing behind you.”

Speaking to the crowd, Mastriano listed many other “progressive” agendas he would ban should he move into the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence.

“On day one of my administration, woke is broke. … You will no longer be held captive to the indoctrination of the left.

“On day one, gender confusion games, pronoun games end in Pennsylvania forever … critical race theory and any component of it end in Pennsylvania classroom forever.

“On day one as your Governor, I’m going to reaffirm parental rights. … My secretary of education will be directing all the schools to post all curricula online for parental review and transparency.

“On day one of my administration …. we’re going to defend female athletes. There will be no more boys on the girl’s team … There’ll be no more boys in the girl’s bathroom … Gender transition surgeries on minors will be banned in Pennsylvania.”

Regarding election integrity, Mastriano said he would start with voter identification. “There’s a ballot referendum. We’ll put it on the ballot next May that people in Pennsylvania decide whether they want to have voter ID or not.”

Republican nominee for Pennsylvania Governor Doug Mastriano (rear right) campaigns in Luzerne, Pa., on Oct. 22, 2022. (Frank Liang/The Epoch Times)

A Nontraditional Campaign

In the nationally watched race for Pennsylvania governor, two polls released last week show Shapiro holding onto a moderate lead over Mastriano. The Trafalgar Group’s poll shows Shapiro up 53 percent to Mastriano’s 44 percent. A new InsiderAdvantage/FOX 29 poll shows Shapiro at 49 percent to Mastriano’s 42 percent.

Mastriano brushed off the numbers of these polls.

“I actually have several polls that you’ll be seeing shortly that have us in a tie with my opponent, statistically a dead heat, within two or three points,” he told The Epoch Times.

“This time, four years ago, Ron DeSantis, they had him losing Florida by 12 points, and he won the state. This time last year, these pollsters had Glenn Younkin losing Virginia by many points. And our data shows we’re going to have a great victory.”

Campaign finance reports show Shapiro’s Democrat campaign has a formidable financial advantage. It has spent nearly $44 million in the last year, much of that on TV ads, while Mastriano’s campaign has spent about $4 million.

With little money spent on the airwaves, Mastriano said their secret weapon to win the race is “the people of Pennsylvania.”

“Abraham Lincoln said in his Gettysburg address that we have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. That’s the kind of campaign I’m running,” Mastriano said. “So it might not be traditional, but it’s a winning campaign. We will change history and rewrite how elections are run and won in Pennsylvania. We’re going to restore freedom.”

Resonance With Residents

Luzerne was Mastriano’s fourth stop on his Restore Freedom Tour he started the day prior. Many residents expressed their support for the Republican gubernatorial nominee.

“I care about the taxes, the energy prices … and inflation too,” Mark Rabo, a construction worker and truck driver from Hazleton, Pennsylvania, told The Epoch Times. “Gov. [Tom] Wolf decided to cut the energy production in our state, which is causing a lot of truck drivers and construction workers to have to pay more money for their expenses, for the equipment expenses, and their supplies.”

Mark Rabo is interviewed at a rally for Doug Mastriano in Luzerne, Pa., on Oct. 22, 2022. (William Huang/The Epoch Times)

He also complained that the crime where he lives is “very bad, because of all of the criminals that are being let into our state through New York and New Jersey, northern New Jersey.” He said he likes Mastriano’s “straightforwardness in terms of the details of his plan and how he wants to benefit the working people.”

Jessica Freyne, a business owner from Eagle Rock, said, “The primary issue that I always look at first is the defense of human life. His message has remained the same through his campaign, which is one that he’s willing to protect what our country stands for, as Americans.”

Jessica Freyne is interviewed at a rally for Doug Mastriano in Luzerne, Pa., on Oct. 22, 2022. (William Huang/The Epoch Times)

Among the attendees was Maryann Lawhorn, a retired registered nurse and the executive director of pro-life organization The Voice of John. She was thrilled with the turnout and support for Mastriano. “I’m just so confident in his candidacy and all the principles he stands for,” she said.

Maryann Lawhorn is interviewed at a rally for Doug Mastriano in Luzerne, Pa., on Oct. 22, 2022. (William Huang/The Epoch Times)

Lawhorn shared a horrible memory of when she was a young nurse. She saw a child who became a victim of infanticide when he was thrown away. “I saw several victims, many victims,” said Lawhorn, “It was a moment in time that changed who I am. And I would never be the same.”

“I believe that we are on the cusp of history with this election. … This is an election that will write tomorrow’s history,” said Lawhorn.

Supporters at a rally for Doug Mastriano in Luzerne, Pa., on Oct. 22, 2022. (Frank Liang/The Epoch Times)

Nancy Wang Contributed to This Report.



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