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Doug Mastriano misses Senate vote, skips Josh Shapiro’s inauguration

Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano speaks during a campaign stop in Erie, Pa., Thursday, September 29, 2022.
David Dermer
Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano speaks during a campaign stop in Erie, Pa., Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022.

Josh Shapiro was sworn in as governor on Tuesday before a crowd that included both Republican and Democratic lawmakers. Notably absent was the man he defeated for the job: State Sen. Doug Mastriano.

Mastriano, who lost the 2022 election for governor by about 800,000 votes, took a personal day.

Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman announced Mastriano’s absence on the Senate floor. Mastriano was the only Senator who did not show up Tuesday.

Republican political strategist Sam Chen said there’s no expectation for a losing candidate to attend the inauguration.

“The difference here is that he is still a sitting member of the legislature. We haven’t had a situation like this,” Chen said. “And without further information, the seeming gist is that he may have missed votes because he didn’t want to be in Harrisburg the day that Josh Shapiro’s inaugurated. And that would just come off a little bit petty.”

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Chen said skipping Shapiro’s inauguration likely won’t affect Mastriano’s reputation regardless.

“But a bigger issue is that he’s chosen not to come in on a voting day, that he’s missing votes. That’s not a good trend for politics. It’s not a good trend for governing. That’s not a good trend for Republicans or for Democrats. That’s just not good period.”

Mastriano didn’t publicly explain his absence from the Senate, but did make a handful of social media posts, which he often does.

His posts included likening Vice President Kamala Harris to Marvel archvillain Thanos and amplifying a warning from a supporter.

“My prayers continue for the lies to be exposed and truth to be revealed!” the post read. “Some choose to serve the Father of lies, and will some day pay the price for doing so.”

Meanwhile, Pittman and Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward welcomed the incoming administration.

“The Senate looks forward to working with them to help Pennsylvania unleash our energy potential, reduce the tax burden, eliminate bureaucratic red tape and provide access to and empowerment of our education system, while ensuring communities across the state remain healthy and safe.”

Mastriano did not return multiple requests for comment.