Pennsylvania once stocked D.C. with a steady stream of establishment Republicans. Now, in the wake of Donald Trump’s reelection defeat, it’s better known for its GOP hard-liners — among them, Scott Perry, the congressman who recently made headlines for his behind-the-scenes efforts to assist Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.
The state GOP’s transformation from the party of former Sens. Arlen Specter and John Heinz — and Govs. Dick Thornburgh and Tom Ridge — to a bastion of Trump loyalists has been decades in the making. But the shift has perhaps never been so obvious as in the past two months when Republicans here were repeatedly thrust into the spotlight for their role in trying to override President Joe Biden’s victory.
GOP state legislative leaders called on Republican congressional members to object to the Electoral College results or “delay” their certification. Every House Republican in Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, save one, obliged, voting to invalidate their state’s Electoral College votes.
State Sen. Doug Mastriano, a potential gubernatorial candidate in 2022, traveled to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and even advertised a bus to take protesters there. In the weeks after the deadly riot, a right-wing state representative, Daryl Metcalfe, said on Facebook that the FBI called his office asking about the day of the insurrection and referred to the agency’s tip line as a “snitch” line.
“It’s not the party that I belonged to years ago,” said Robert Byer, a former Republican judge and legal counsel for George H.W. Bush’s 1988 presidentialcampaign in Pennsylvania….