Josh Shapiro, Austin Davis, and Black leaders condemn Mastriano’s extremism in Philly
The press conference held in town comes after a photo of Shapiro’s challenger surfaced donning a Confederate uniform.
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On Friday, Aug. 26, an old photo surfaced of Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano posing in a Confederate uniform during his time at the Army War College in Carlisle, PA, where he taught military history.
The Trump-endorsed candidate now finds himself in hot water again, and it’s momentum, Democratic gubernatorial nominee and PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro is trying to harness heading into November’s election.
On Wednesday, Aug. 31, Shapiro along with running mate, Rep. Austin Davis, elected officials, and Black leaders held a press conference in Philadelphia to condemn the actions of Mastriano as well as further educate the potential consequences of having leaders with extremist ideas run for public office.
“Our history is long and flawed. We must remember it and improve upon it. But Doug Mastriano wants to take us back to a painful time, and it makes him unfit to be Governor,” Shapiro said.
Other speakers at the press conference beyond Shapiro and Davis include, Council President Darrell Clarke, Councilmember Kathy Gilmore Richardson, and Bishop Dwayne Royster.
“Let's be clear — Doug Mastriano chose to wear a Confederate soldier uniform. Today, Black leaders joined Josh Shapiro and I in Philadelphia to send a clear message: Doug Mastriano has shown us who he is — and we must believe him,” said Davis.
The uniform blunder is not the first time Mastriano has shown hints of extremism. The PA State Senator was also part of the crowd that cheered former President Donald Trump’s words as he encouraged the crowd to march on the U.S. capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Mastriano has said he remained outside of the police barriers as the capitol was stormed. He has also said he would comply with the Jan. 6 committee, but did not allow for his conversation to be recorded for fears it would be used against him in his race for governor.
In the immediate aftermath of the photo of Mastriano in Confederate garb surfacing via Reuters, Shapiro took to Twitter with plenty of ammo.
“You have our word: @AustinDavisPA, and I will represent the people of Pennsylvania — all the people. Not just those who fit into one worldview like how Doug Mastriano views leadership,” he wrote.