Montana GOP Sen. Steve Daines, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is dismissing future political ambitions of retired U.S. Army Colonel Doug Mastriano, concluding that he is likely to not win a race after failing to clinch the post as governor of Pennsylvania in 2022.
“We need somebody who can win a primary and a general election. His last race demonstrated he can’t win a general,” Daines said of Mastriano, according to one reporter.
The comments from Daines come after Mastriano, who lost his bid for governor of Pennsylvania to Democrat Josh Shapiro in the November 2022 midterm elections, told Politico he is “praying” about a potential Senate run in 2024.
“We’ve seen people in the past, other Republican gubernatorial candidates, they rise and they disappear when they lose. Why? You have people that love you and support you,” Mastriano told the outlet.
Should he make a run for the Senate, Mastriano, as well as other Republican hopefuls who are sure to enter the race, would likely be running to take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, who is widely popular among voters in the state but has yet to announce whether he will seek a fourth term in office.
“I think he’s a huge disappointment. He’s nothing like his dad,” Mastriano told Politico of Casey. “His dad was more pro-life than most Republicans.”
In the November 2022 midterm election to become Pennsylvania’s next governor, Mastriano lost to Shapiro by nearly 800,000 votes.
Following his loss, several Republicans — both in the state and nationally — accused Mastriano of being too extreme on the campaign trail on issues like abortion and the 2020 election, and for being out of touch with what Keystone State voters wanted.
As for other Republicans who may enter the race, former Senate candidate Dave McCormick, who lost the race for the GOP nomination for Senate to Dr. Mehmet Oz in the 2022 cycle by less than 1,000 votes, is taking steps that hint at a possible run.
McCormick, a Gulf War combat veteran and Treasury Department official in former President George W. Bush’s administration, has reportedly met with Republican leaders in the state about the possibility of another Senate run in 2024, and has earned the support of many of those in the state.
With a new book titled “Superpower in Peril: A Battle Plan to Renew America,” which publishes this month, a book tour is in the works that would likely take McCormick across Pennsylvania and beyond.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this article.