Pennsylvania Republican Doug Mastriano calls for 40 days of fasting to save flailing campaign

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Doug Mastriano, the Trump-endorsed Republican gubernatorial nominee in Pennsylvania, called for 40 days of fasting and prayer as his campaign significantly lags behind Democratic nominee Josh Shaprio.

The call comes after Mr Mastriano’s rally in Harrisburg was poorly attended and his campaign fails to gain traction, The Philadelphia Inquirerreported.

Mr Mastriano has often adopted the language of Christian nationalism and has come under fire for his far-right positions. Most recently, he faced criticism for saying in 2019 that women should be charged with murder if they violated his proposed abortion ban.

Mr Mastriano posted an image of hands open in prayer on his Facebook campaign page on Monday.

“Interceding for our elections, our state, & our nation,” the image says. The image also quotes Isaiah 58:12, which says “Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.”

Mr Mastriano won the Republican primary for governor earlier this year despite limited finances and support from other officials. Since then, polling has shown him down significantly against Mr Shaprio, who serves as the state’s attorney general.

The Republican state senator has come under fire for his extreme views on abortion and same-sex marriage. In one interview, when asked in 2018 whether he thought same-sex marriage should be legal, he said “Absolutely not. I'm for traditional marriage, and I am not a hater for saying that. It's been like that for 6,000 years. It was the first institution founded by God in Genesis, and it needs to stay that way.”

He has also similarly said that he would work to decertify the 2020 presidential election results and spent money to bus people to Washington on January 6 of last year, though he said he left the Capitol before the violence.