FILE – Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano speaks to supporters during an election night campaign event at the Penn Harris Hotel in Camp Hill, Pa., Nov. 8, 2022. Election deniers who backed Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election failed in some of their highest-profile races. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A hard-right Pennsylvania state lawmaker says he will not challenge Democratic Sen. Bob Casey. The decision leaves the GOP primary field wide open. State Sen. Doug Mastriano made the announcement Thursday night as top party officials try to recruit a strong candidate in the moderate battleground state in 2024. Former hedge fund CEO David McCormick is the favorite of party leaders and has drawn pledges of financial support from top Republican officials — should he decide to run. Mastriano was endorsed by former President Donald Trump in last year’s race for governor but lost badly. Pennsylvania is a top GOP target in their quest to recapture the Senate majority.