Update (7/21/21): After the publication of this post, nearly all of Mastriano’s QAnon tweets were deleted. Links to those tweets here have been replaced with archive links.
Right-wing commentator and Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a likely candidate for governor and one of the state’s most visible 2020 election conspiracy theorists, sent more than 50 tweets with the QAnon hashtag before entering office. In those newly uncovered tweets, Mastriano also promoted Pizzagate, a conspiracy theory that, like QAnon, has resulted in violence.
Mastriano is a Republican who has been in office since June 2019. He is leading an effort in Pennsylvania to conduct a supposed “forensic investigation” of the state’s election results. The plan comes in the wake of the fraudulent “audit” that’s being done in Arizona by Republicans and championed by right-wing media.
Mastriano is also a frequent guest on One America News, Newsmax, and Steve Bannon’s program. Media Matters previously documented that he’s used his Facebook page to share false anti-vaccines claims and that he repeatedly used violent rhetoric on right-wing programming ahead of the January 6 Capitol insurrection. (Mastriano himself was at the insurrection.)
He has also associated himself with the QAnon movement, including appearing on QAnon programs. A QAnon-affiliated conference listed Mastriano as an attendee, but a spokesperson later claimed to The Philadelphia Inquirer that he “never committed to speak at this event.” The spokesperson also said that Mastriano "strongly condemns the ‘Q anon’ conspiracy theory.”
And Mastriano's involvement with the movement has gone deeper than that: In 2018, Mastriano posted at least 51 tweets with the hashtag “QAnon,” according to a Media Matters search. (A complete list of links to those posts can be found at the end of this piece.)
Those posts were about a variety of topics, including two Ben Garrison cartoons that promote the Pizzagate conspiracy theory by picturing former Clinton adviser John Podesta with a slice of pizza. He also attached the QAnon-affiliated slogan “TheGreatAwakening” to several posts.
Additionally, Mastriano tweeted the QAnon slogan “WWG1WGA” (“where we go one, we go all”) at least once.
Here are five examples of Mastriano's QAnon hashtag posts:
Media Matters has extensively documented the relationship between Republican politicians and QAnon, including state legislative candidates who have promoted the conspiracy theory. Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem (R), one of the leading proponents of 2020 election conspiracy theories in that state, is also a QAnon promoter.
(The following are links to Mastriano’s posts that include the “QAnon” hashtag: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 17; 18; 19; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; 42; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 50; 51.)