Supporters of Sen. Doug Mastriano converged on Cumberland County’s west coast Saturday for the premiere screening of a film celebrating post-Trump grassroots conservatism in Pennsylvania and what it’s trying to accomplish.
The screening featured Mastriano, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, front and center, and he and his wife received a standing ovation from the audience as they arrived inside Christ Community Church in the Township of Lower Allen where the event took place.
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Although the premiere of “The Return of the American Patriot” was moved twice before Saturday’s screening, the film’s producer, Stephen Turley, claimed to have sold 1,200 tickets for the event.
The film didn’t wrap until press time, but the screening began, for the most part, without a hitch.
At least some of the media members present were blocked from covering the event, but on the church campus, attendees who had purchased tickets starting at $20 passed through security and were asked to present an ID before being waived. Outside, meanwhile, the only sign of protest was a peaceful group of 10 demonstrators at the entrance to the church, greeting attendees with signs reading “Doug Mastriano for Jail.”
In the queue, meanwhile, ticket holders complained about Democrats and compared their Conservative chops. A York County couple was circulating petitions in an attempt to secure a referendum on the fall ballot asking voters if they want the county to replace its Dominion Systems voting machines.
The mood was lightened by a mobile Mastriano billboard driven to the site by LaVerne Brown, a Dauphin County committee member, featuring two cut-out figures that once adorned his Country Cousins restaurant in Tower City.
“Restore the PA for our grandchildren,” the sign read.
The children, Rexford and Ellie, shared the stage with a stork holding a package labeled “the unborn child” – a nod to Mastriano’s anti-abortion stance.
“It’s just the direction of the country,” Brown said, explaining his support for Mastriano, as he ticked off issues like inflation and energy prices. “We have to save the country.