“One day after Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial primary, the general election campaign has already started.”

PENNSYLVANIA — While Republicans are stuck reeling from a messy primary and dealing with an extreme far-right candidate too dangerous for Pennsylvania, Democrats are hitting the road to call out Republicans’ extreme anti-choice gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano and emphasize that to protect our rights, we need to elect Josh Shapiro as Pennsylvania’s next Governor. On Wednesday morning, State Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, State Rep. Emily Kinkead, Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Deb Gross, pro-choice activist Natalie Leslie, and numerous concerned Pennsylvanians joined PA Democratic Party Executive Director Jason Henry in Pittsburgh to kick off the “Protect our Rights Tour.”

Republicans’ far-right nominee Doug Mastriano wants to outlaw abortion with no exceptions and throw doctors in jail for performing them — and he’s hellbent on attacking more of Pennsylvanians’ freedoms. In the days to come, the PA Dems will continue traveling across the Commonwealth to make sure Pennsylvanians know how high the stakes are for electing Josh Shapiro.

In case you missed it, check out some of the coverage from the first stop on the PA Dems “Protect our Rights Tour:”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: One day after Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial primary, the general election campaign has already started

By Julian Routh, 05/18/22

It didn’t take long for the general election in Pennsylvania to start.

On Wednesday morning, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party assembled a group of party officials to warn voters about what would happen with abortion rights if Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano is elected in November.

Mr. Mastriano, the state senator who won the GOP’s primary on Tuesday, has said he’d sign laws restricting abortion in the state, including a so-called heartbeat bill — which he’s sponsored — to enact an abortion ban from the moment a fetal heartbeat is detected.

State Rep. Emily Kinkead, D-Allegheny, said Wednesday from the portico of the City-County Building in Downtown Pittsburgh that Mr. Mastriano wants to take Pennsylvania back to a time when women died because they didn’t have guaranteed, safe access to abortion.

“We’ve seen extreme abortion bans across the country at six weeks [into a pregnancy]. Doug Mastriano wants to make it three weeks,” Ms. Kinkead said. “That’s not even a whole cycle for a woman.”

Democratic leaders said they would tour the commonwealth in the coming days to spread this message in an attempt to label Mr. Mastriano an extremist who would take away Pennsylvanians’ freedoms if elected.

In part, it will also be to tout their nominee, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, as a last line of defense against a GOP trifecta in Harrisburg. Republicans already control the state House and state Senate but have seen dozens of their measures vetoed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.


State Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, a colleague of Mr. Mastriano’s in Harrisburg, called him a “far-right radical Republican” who Pennsylvanians should be concerned about.

Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Deb Gross, echoing what party leaders say will likely be a premier talking point of Mr. Shapiro’s general election campaign, said Republicans are going after the freedoms of Pennsylvanians, starting with women’s reproductive rights.

“This Republican agenda is really about taking away your rights,” Ms. Gross said.


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“I think [Mastriano] is someone that wants to take away our freedom, actually take us backwards. He wants to make it so you can join a union, so you don’t have bodily autonomy. He wants to say that you can go vote, but he’ll get to determine the outcome. That’s not freedom.” And that was democratic challenger Josh Shapiro who spoke to us ahead of yesterday’s primary. 

Other democrats share his concerns on mask around his position on abortion and reproductive health care. One group has launched a protect our rights store and will travel to communities across the commonwealth to share what they say is at stake this fall.


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State senator Doug Mastriano secured the Republican Party’s nomination last night by a big margin and will take on Democratic State Attorney General Josh Shapiro this fall. 

Members of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party rallied outside the City County building downtown today, in opposition to Mastriano’s nomination. 

“We have an extreme far right radical republican nominee for governor and that’s something that we should be very much concerned about it, particularly as it relates to this one issue in particular. Reproductive rights for folks in Pennsylvania.”

 Mastriano has said that he would ban abortion.


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Democrats are already firing back after Mastriano’s win. State democrats held a press conference this morning, stressing the importance of this upcoming election, especially with Roe v. Wade in jeopardy. 

Current State Senator Jay Costa says all Pennsylvanians should be concerned about Mastriano. “I’ve listened to him and his messaging on the Senate floor over the course of many many months. It’s scary quite frankly. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s concerning and it should concern every Pennsylvanian.”