4 Republicans to meet for prime-time governor’s race debate

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Leading candidates for the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania’s open governor’s office will meet Monday night for their first statewide live-televised prime-time debate as they seek an edge in a nine-person field that could yield a primary winner with less than 30% of the vote.

The candidates are: Lou Barletta, the GOP’s nominee for US Senate in 2018 and a former congressman known for his crusade against illegal immigration; state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a force in Pennsylvania’s right-wing politics who pushed to overturn 2020′s presidential election; Bill McSwain, a lawyer in private practice who was the US attorney in Philadelphia under former President Donald Trump; and Dave White, who runs an $85 million-a-year plumbing and HVAC firm and is a former Delaware County councilman.

They are to appear at the studio of WHTM-TV in Harrisburg for the one-hour debate.

The four met the polling threshold set by the station’s parent company as they vie for the nomination to succeed the term-limited Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat. Five others did not meet the polling threshold.

Neither the state party nor Trump have endorsed in the race, leaving the field that much more wide open. Two-term state Attorney General Josh Shapiro does not face a challenger for the Democratic Party’s nomination.

The primary election is May 17.

The debate begins at 8 pm and is to be televised on stations in Pennsylvania’s six media markets, as well as stations in Youngstown, Ohio, and Elmira and Buffalo, New York, New York City and Washington.

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