Teddy Daniels, Mastriano’s Embattled Lieutenant Governor Pick, Loses Primary

MILFORD, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES - 2020/06/20: Teddy Daniels (Photo by Preston Ehrler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

While state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R) easily won his party’s primary for governor Tuesday night, his favored lieutenant governor candidate was not so lucky.

He’d endorsed retired police officer Teddy Daniels, who came in third with just 12 percent of the vote. Governors and lieutenant governors don’t run on the same ticket in Pennsylvania, but the two were so linked as to be referred to as “running mates” in local reports. 

“The swamp is still alive,” Daniels said Wednesday morning in a Facebook live video. “It just goes to show that in the state of Pennsylvania, if you put $2 million behind somebody, you can literally elect a turd — and that’s what we got.”

Daniels alleged throughout the video that dark money funneled to State Rep. Carrie DelRosso (R), who won the primary, sunk his bid and that his opponents collaborated with the “liberal media” to produce “hit pieces.”

He also excitedly claimed that “several national conservative media personalities” have approached him about hosting a national TV program.

“They may have won today, but long term, guys, I ain’t going nowhere,” he said. “You ain’t seen or heard the last of Teddy Daniels.”

DelRosso won the crowded primary with about 26 percent of the vote with an estimated 95 percent of the vote tallied.

The first-term lawmaker made waves in 2020 when she upset the Democratic House minority leader who’d held the district since 1991. 

Redistricting would have positioned her against another longtime incumbent, so she opted to run for lieutenant governor instead. 

“Unfortunately, I got redistricted out of my seat by the establishment,” she griped to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Daniels’ campaign was rocked by scandal when his wife obtained a court order barring him from their home and child late last month. 

“He stalks me at work, screaming at me, making me cry. He cursed at me continually and our son repeats it to me,” Jaime Daniels wrote in a note accompanying the order, obtained by TPM. “He has constantly said he would throw myself and our son out of the house and, if he lost the campaign, I wouldn’t have a place to live in three weeks.”

“Ted’s campaign manager has called me 12 times to persuade me not to file this PFA,” she added of the protection from abuse order.

She alleged episodes of violence and terror, including Teddy Daniels following her when she went to the courthouse to obtain the order. 

Teddy Daniels responded in a lengthy Facebook live video, where he paced around a strip mall parking lot and spoke into what appeared to be the camera on his phone. 

He blamed his “primary opponents” for trying to take down his campaign, and said he’d been “swatted,” the practice of repeatedly calling law enforcement to surround someone’s home. 

He said that Jaime Daniels had asked him repeatedly to drop out of the race.

“And I told her, I said, ‘I love you, but I ain’t dropping. I ain’t dropping. This is what they want, and I’m not going to let ‘em win,’” he added.

Teddy Daniels spoke at a far-right conference put on by QAnon believers and permeated by conspiracy theories last month, along with Mastriano. Before he spoke, going off on tangents dismissing the pandemic and fixating on right-wing obsessions like critical race theory, Mastriano’s endorsement played. 

“I can think of no better person to serve along my side as Teddy Daniels,” Mastriano said in the video. “He’s a fighter, he’s tough, he’s combat-tested, he’s a veteran, he put aside a comfortable life to serve our country — that’s exactly the kind of man we need as our lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania.” 

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