ExploreVenango Reporter Denied Access to Mastriano Event

| August 5, 2022

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) – Gubernatorial hopeful Doug Mastriano (R) made an appearance at what staffers called a private event in Venango County on Thursday night.

(Doug Mastriano speaks during an event in Clarion in 2020. Photo by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography.)

The rally, billed as the “Venango County Rally with Doug and Rebbie” on the campaign’s website, was held at the Allegheny River Retreat Center in Franklin.

“We won 55 of 67 counties in one of the most hotly-contested primaries since 1978– 44 years ago. That’s the last time the party, the GOP, did not endorse a candidate,” Mr. Mastriano said on the Facebook livestream of the event. “We did fantastic here.”

The Mastriano campaign came under criticism by Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 earlier this week when an aide blocked their reporter from interviewing the candidate at the Lawrence County Meet & Greet that kicked off the bus tour, described by the venue’s owner, Gale Measel, as a public event. A campaign staffer disagreed, calling it a private event before asking Reporter Paul Van Osdol to leave.

Gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano (R) stops in Franklin on August 4, 2022, as part of a multi-county tour.

“Our friends are here from Channel 4. I’m happy to talk to any journalist that can prove to be fair, that’s going to ask Josh Shapiro the same hard questions,” Mr. Mastriano said at the meet and greet.

After registering for the event, exploreVenango.com reporter Gavin Fish was turned away on Thursday in the parking lot by the same staffer that turned away Mr. Van Osdol, a man who only identified himself as Michael. Fish was asked to reach out to the candidate’s press office for vetting before being allowed to attend the next stop on the tour, which he did.

Mr. Mastriano’s Western Pennsylvania bus tour is scheduled to continue to wind its way through the area, stopping in Clarion County on Friday morning before its next stop in Forest County on Friday afternoon. Anyone wishing to attend is asked to RSVP at doug4gov.com/events.


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