Aug 27, 2022 - Politics & Policy

GOP nominee for Pennsylvania governor posed in Confederate outfit

Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano speaks.
Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano speaks to supporters. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano previously posed in a Confederate uniform for a faculty photo at the U.S. Army War College, Reuters reports.

The big picture: Mastriano, who is currently the Republican nominee for governor of Pennsylvania, has been endorsed by former President Trump in the upcoming election against Democrat Josh Shapiro.

Driving the news: The photo, obtained by Reuters through the Freedom of Information Act, shows Mastriano at the Department of Military Strategy, Planning and Operations, where he previously worked as a professor.

  • The faculty were offered the opportunity to pose as a historic figure for the photo. At least 15 of the people in the photo are seen wearing normal outfits. Mastriano is the only one in the photo seen wearing a Confederate uniform.
  • The photo was taken during the 2013-14 school year during the Obama administration.
  • The Pentagon issued a de facto ban on displaying the Confederate flag in 2020, per AP.

Worth noting: Mastriano currently serves a district that includes Gettysburg, which was the location of the Civil War's bloodiest battle, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

What they're saying: Mastriano retweeted a statement from senior adviser Jenna Ellis, who said the state senator "apparently once posed as a civil war historical figure for a photo."

  • "The left wants to erase history," she said. She then invited Reuters "to go on a Gettysburg tour with Doug. You’ll learn a lot!"
  • Mastriano's office did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Army War College said it removed the photo from its wall after Reuters reached out, per CNN.

  • "The faculty photo did not get the team's attention; the photo has since been removed because it does not meet AWC values," the college told Reuters.

Context: Mastriano "has attempted to moderate his firebrand conservative tone for November’s general election," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. "But he has a long digital and paper trail of making controversial statements that come back to haunt his campaign."

  • Mastriano was on the U.S. Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021, per Axios Philadelphia. He appeared before the Jan. 6 committee but his interview was cut short.

Go deeper: Doug Mastriano wins Pennsylvania GOP primary for governor

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to say Pennsylvania GOP candidate Doug Mastriano was on the U.S. Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021, not Jan. 6, 2022.

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