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GOP frontrunners — from Jan 6 Riot to Governor’s Mansion?

  • by Zach D. Roberts
  • for the Palast Investigative Fund

State Senator Doug Mastriano, Donald Trump’s pick in the Republican Primary for Governor of Pennsylvania, spent thousands to lead a busload of protesters to the January 6 “protest” at the Capitol in Washington.

Doug Mastriano, speaking at the ReOpen Rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on June 5, 2021. In the background, wearing a ReOpenPA shirt, is Sandy Weyer, who has been indicted by the DOJ for her actions on January 6, 2021.
Photo: © Zach D. Roberts, 2021.

Mastriano, who regularly records live talks to his Facebook page in front of a Christian Nationalist flag, used that platform and Twitter to spread QAnon conspiracies.

His chosen running mate for Lt. Governor (PA elects Gov and Lt. Gov separately) is Teddy Daniels. Daniels was also at the January 6th Capitol protests.

Teddy Daniels, speaking at the Rod of Iron Freedom Festival at the Kahr Arms store in Greeley, Pennsylvania on October 9, 2021.
Photo: © Zach D. Roberts, 2021.

In 2021, I filmed Daniels speaking at the Unification Church — made famous by their worship services that include AR-15’s. He was speaking at the “Save the Nation” conference that saw a series of speeches from far-right religious and political figures decrying America’s move to socialism.

Here is the wannabe Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania:

“I’m watching cartoons with my son. Like, certain cartoon channels we won’t watch anymore because they’re pushing the LGBTQ, T, X, Y, Z, whatever it is, any more agenda, big time or cartoon channels. Yeah. They’re pushing BLM agendas on cartoon channels… I remember having to talk with my wife. And I said, I’m done, I’m done, I got to do something. As she said to me, she goes, “Well, can’t you just find the candidate you like and get behind him?”

The next day he spoke at the Rod of Iron Freedom Festival at the Kahr Arms store. It’s an annual event put on by the owners of Kahr Arms — the sons of Reverend Moon of the “Moonies” — a company that makes AR-15’s.

Zach D Roberts is an investigative photojournalist who covers far-right extremism and voter suppression in America. He covered the Unite the Right Rally in Chalottesville and his work there helped put four white extremists in jail. He co-produced Greg Palast's films The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Vigilantes, Inc: America’s Vote Suppression Hitmen (out Fall 2024). Roberts is a Palast Investigative Fund Fellow and Puffin artist grant recipient.

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