Republican groups in Pennsylvania are set to hold training workshops with right-wing social media influencer Scott Presler in the coming weeks. Presler is a January 6 insurrectionist who helped organize “Stop the Steal” events around the 2020 election, frequently promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory, and worked with a leading anti-Muslim group.
Presler helped organize election-denying rallies following then-President Donald Trump’s loss. During one protest outside the Pennsylvania capitol, for instance, he led people in yelling for politicians to “stop the steal” and “audit the vote.”
He also went on right-wing media to encourage viewers to protest the vote. While speaking on OAN, for instance, he told viewers that they needed to rally against the “stolen election,” stating: “This is your legacy. This is your defining moment in history. … And so tomorrow's Saturday. Show up at your state capitol, no matter what state that you are living in, and make your voices heard. Don't regret it.”
On January 6, 2021, he went to Washington, D.C., and was outside the Capitol for what he (absurdly) claimed was “the largest civil rights protest in American history.”
Media Matters previously documented that Presler promoted QAnon in dozens of instances on his Instagram account. Presler has also worked for the anti-Muslim group Act for America, which, The Associated Press wrote, “is identified by the Anti-Defamation League as the largest anti-Muslim group in America. The group spreads conspiracy theories about Muslims and ‘stokes irrational fears’ of them, ADL says. The Southern Poverty Law Center also labels Act for America as an ‘extremist hate group.’”
Right-wing media figures have frequently and falsely alleged that the 2020 election was stolen, including in Pennsylvania. During the 2022 election, Pennsylvania Republicans nominated January 6 insurrectionist Doug Mastriano as their gubernatorial nominee. Mastriano ran a far-right campaign that, among other things, focused on election denialism. He lost by roughly 15 percentage points in the battleground state.
Yet Republicans in Pennsylvania are scheduled to work with Presler in the next several weeks:
- The Media Borough Republican Committee is scheduled to host Presler on February 4 for a “voter registration/mail-in ballot training.”
- The Mayor of Slippery Rock, PA, Jondavid Longo, is slated to host Presler on February 6 for a “Republican workshop,” described on a promotional poster as “a class on ballot harvesting, voter registration, and canvassing in Pennsylvania.” Presler joined Longo and the Butler County Republican Committee for an event in 2020.
- The Republican Committee of Allegheny County is scheduled on February 8 to host Presler for “a Republican Workshop” on “canvassing, candidate recruitment, voter registration, and mail-in ballots.”
Additionally, a regional captain for the Franklin County, PA, GOP, Deb Howard, posted on Facebook that Presler is “joining us in Franklin County” on February 9. Presler responded with an event link describing the training as including “voter registration, how to get out the vote, as well as ballot harvesting techniques.”
Media Matters has documented other instances of Republican groups across the country teaming up with Presler. Additionally, just this month, Presler returned to Louisiana and said that he “conducted 2 volunteer trainings” and “registered voters.” He also met with Louisiana GOP Chair Louis Gurvich, Louisiana RNC Committeewoman Lenar Whitney, and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (who is running for governor this year). The Republican Party of Louisiana thanked him for coming, with Presler replying: “Thank you so much for having me.”