YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – U.S. Senator Bob Casey was in York Thursday morning and responded to speculation that Republican State Senator Doug Mastriano will enter the 2024 U.S. Senate race after Mastriano teased an announcement on his Facebook page Thursday night.
Mastriano, the Republican Party’s 2022 candidate for governor, lost the general election to Josh Shapiro by more than 800,000 votes.
When asked whether he would prefer to face Mastriano in a general election, Casey said “I’ll let the political scientists figure that out.”
Casey said he’ll take the announcement in “like any other news” and remarked, “we’ll see what happens.”
Casey announced earlier this year he would seek re-election for a fourth term earlier this year, while Mastriano would be the first Republican to throw his hat into the ring.
An April Franklin & Marshall poll showed Mastriano leading 2022 Senate candidate Dave McCormick 42% to 28%. The same poll showed Casey leading Mastriano in a hypothetical matchup 47% to 31%.
A State Senator representing Adams and Franklin Counties, Mastriano won the 2022 Republican primary for Governor with 43.82% after receiving an endorsement from former president Donald Trump.
Mastriano would go on to lose the November general election to Democrat Josh Shapiro by more than 800,000 votes. During the race he was painted by Democrats as an extreme candidate on issues such as abortion and elections. He was also deposed by the January 6 committee after video appeared to show him in Washington D.C. on January 6.
Prior to entering politics Mastriano served in the U.S. Army for 30 years and taught at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle.
Some Republicans have also been skeptical of a possible Mastriano Senate run. State Representative Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) told abc27 he is “adamantly opposed” to Mastriano running for Senate after a blowout loss in 2022 despite “believing most of the things he believes.”
“We certainly can’t have a repeat of that in 2024 with him at the top of the ticket. I do believe that he was one of the three factors that caused (Republicans) to lose the majority in the House of Representatives. And I don’t want to lose any more seats. I would rather be in the majority so we can make good policy and make Pennsylvania a better place.”
Diamond acknowledged that Mastriano has “built a (political) machine” on the campaign trail, but ultimately a Mastriano run would be “good news for Democrats”