- Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano has endorsed Arizona Republican Wendy Rogers in her reelection bid.
- Rogers is a far-right conspiracy theorist who recently spoke at a white nationalist conference.
- Mastriano, who is running for governor, has been criticized by Jewish leaders for his own embrace of antisemites.
Doug Mastriano, the Pennsylvania Republican facing criticism for refusing to cut ties with a social media platform popular with Christian nationalists, has endorsed the reelection bid of an Arizona Republican who has welcomed the support of white nationalists and is herself a member of the far-right Oath Keepers militia.
In a video posted on her Telegram, Wendy Rogers, a state senator who was censured by her party after appearing at a white nationalist conference earlier this year, touted the endorsement from Mastriano, who is himself running for governor.
"Thank you, Colonel, for your endorsement!" Rogers wrote. "We are rooting for you in Pennsylvania, too!"
Mastriano, in the video posted Monday evening, described the state senator as a "good friend."
"We need more champions for freedom like her in office," he said. "She's tough and courageous. She's a brave leader."
Rogers, who was also endorsed by former President Donald Trump, is fighting to keep the seat she first won in 2020. On August 2, GOP primary voters will pick between her and state Sen. Kelly Townsend, an ultra-conservative lawmaker who says she launched her primary challenge due to Rogers' open embrace of white nationalists.
In February, Rogers spoke at a conference organized by far-right streamer Nick Fuentes, who the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a "white nationalist live streamer" and "outspoken admirer of fascists." The Anti-Defamation League likewise describes him as a "white supremacist leader."
Fuentes, among other things, has claimed the Republican Party "is run by Jews, atheists, and homosexuals."
Speaking to Insider's Bryan Metzger, Townsend said she watched a compilation of Fuentes' views after Rogers' participation in the conference was publicized and was "horrified" by what she saw. Previously, Metzger wrote describing Fuentes as "a 23-year-old far-right political commentator who the FBI has identified as a white supremacist and with an online following known as 'Groypers.'"
Rogers, far from distancing herself, has embraced so-called "groypers" — deeming her white nationalist audience "patriots" while describing Fuentes as "the most persecuted man in America" — and doubled down on controversy.
After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, for example, she attacked President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, as a "globalist puppet for Soros," along with further antisemitic tropes: "I stand with the Christians worldwide not the global bankers who are shoving godlessness and degeneracy in our face."
"I will not apologize for being white," she added the next day.
Rogers later suggested that a white man's mass killing of Black shoppers at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, was a "false flag" attack staged by the federal government.
In its censure, the Arizona state Senate, which is led by Republicans, said Rogers had engaged in conduct "unbecoming of a senator, including publicly issuing and promoting social media and video messages encouraging violence."
Rogers' membership in the Oath Keepers has also come under increased scrutiny since the paramilitary group's leadership was charged with a seditious conspiracy over their role in the January 6 insurrection.
Mastriano, who won a plurality in the GOP primary to become his party's Trump-backed candidate for governor, has himself been criticized for cozying up to far-right extremists and antisemites. His opponent, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, is Jewish.
In a statement, the Shapiro campaign attacked Mastriano for "plunging his campaign deeper into toxic extremism and conspiracy theories."
"It's appalling to see Mastriano team up with an out-of-state politician who spends her time with white nationalists and peddles horrific antisemitism, but it's unsurprising – they're two peas in a pod," Manuel Bonder, a spokesperson for the Shapiro campaign, told Insider.
Earlier this year, HuffPost reported, Mastriano paid $5,000 in a "consulting" fee to Gab, a social network popular with extremists that was used by the man who murdered 11 Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Mastriano also sat down for an interview with the site's founder, Andrew Torba, a self-described Christian nationalist who has frequently posted antisemitic tirades.
"Jewish voters expect candidates to condemn antisemitism, whether it comes from the far left or the far right — and to shun those who espouse it," Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said in a statement reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer. "We strongly urge Doug Mastriano to end his association with Gab, a social network rightly seen by Jewish Americans as a cesspool of bigotry and antisemitism."
Mastriano did not respond to a request for comment.
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