Doug Mastriano, Pennsylvania’s Republican gubernatorial nominee, said Monday that he has appointed Jenna Ellis, who was a lawyer for former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, to his own campaign.
“Jenna Ellis was the first to endorse us and was a champion for our campaign during the Primary Election,” Mastriano said in a statement. “The talent, experience, and legal expertise Jenna brings will be an important factor in helping us defeat Josh Shapiro and the extreme Democrat agenda in November.”
In the announcement, Ellis called Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race “the most important in the country,” saying Mastriano would “reinstate personal and economic freedom” in Pennsylvania and “restore integrity to our elections.”
Ellis was one of the faces of Trump’s effort to overturn the election based on his unsubstantiated claims of fraud. She said last year that she would leave the Republican Party, arguing it was not conservative enough.
Like Ellis, Mastriano also worked to overturn the election results in Pennsylvania.
Mastriano, a state senator, won Pennsylvania’s Republican gubernatorial nomination last month despite a last-ditch effort by some state Republicans to coalesce the field around a different candidate they felt would fare better against Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s attorney general, in November’s general election in the swing state. Mastriano received an eleventh-hour endorsement from Trump after it became clear in polling that he would win the contest.
Nonpartisan election analysts have ranked the race as “Lean Democratic,” and Republicans have lost four of the last five gubernatorial races in the Keystone State. Outgoing Gov. Tom Wolf, who is term-limited, is a Democrat.
But some Republicans remain concerned about Mastriano’s viability with general election voters. After Mastriano was declared the winner of the primary in May, the Republican Governors Association offered a tepid statement about his win, saying it “remains committed to engaging in competitive gubernatorial contests where our support can have an impact in defending our incumbents and expanding our majority this year,” without specifying whether it saw Mastriano as one of those candidates.