- The Washington Times
Saturday, September 3, 2022

Former President Donald Trump will hold a rally Saturday evening in Wilkes-Barre for two key Pennsylvania GOP candidates, as the midterm election race ramps up with the close of the summer vacation season.

Mr. Trump will rally for Senate candidate Mehmet Oz, as well as state Sen. Doug Mastriano, the GOP nominee for governor.

“Big rally in Pennsylvania today. Get there early! Thank you to Newsmax, and others, for doing such a great job of TV coverage. The ratings are incredible!” Mr. Trump wrote on his personal account on the social media site Truth Social.

Mr. Trump‘s appearance comes two days after President Biden disparaged “MAGA Republicans” as a threat to the nation’s democracy.

The former president is also in the midst of a major investigation, regarding a recent raid on his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida which remains at the center of political interest in Washington.

Pennsylvania is a critical swing state for both parties in terms of controlling the Senate.

Mr. Oz currently trails Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee, according to several polls that show the famous TV doctor struggling.

An Emerson College poll from last week had Mr. Fetterman leading Mr. Oz 48-44, while a Franklin and Marshall College survey had Mr. Fetterman up by more than 10 points. The latter poll had the Democrat with 76 percent compared to Mr. Oz who had 62 percent.

Republicans have also struggled in the governor’s race between Mr. Mastriano and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

A poll, conducted by GOP-firm Public Opinion Strategies, had Mr. Shapiro up by 15 points against the Trump-endorsed candidate.

A number of moderate Republicans have also spoke out against Mr. Mastriano being too rightwing, endorsing Democratic Shapiro instead. Several state lawmakers endorsed Mr.  Shapiro, as well as Michael Chertoff, former Homeland Security Secretary under George W. Bush.

Mr. Biden will also head to Pittsburgh on Labor Day, marking his third trip to the Keystone State this week.

Mr. Trump‘s Saturday rally will begin at 7 p.m. local time.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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