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Forward Party backs Mastriano’s presumed challenger

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(The Center Square) – On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Forward Party endorsed Cameron Schroy, the presumptive Democratic nominee for the 33rd senatorial district that spans parts of Adams and Franklin counties.

He expects to face off against the incumbent Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Chambersburg, whose conservative views drew widespread criticism during the 2022 governor’s race.

In an interview with The Center Square, Schroy said his opponent’s track record leaves voters wanting more.

“They see grandstanding, they see poor constituent services and issues that are not being advanced,” he said.

Schroy’s website says he is a lifelong resident of Franklin County and a career civics teacher who is “passionate about raising educational standards and making sure every Pennsylvanian child has a shot at a great life.”

He said the party’s endorsement demonstrates his willingness to work across the aisle to find common ground with Republican colleagues, and he believes the experiences gained through his career and personal life will transfer well if elected.

The Forward Party bills itself as subverting the duopoly gripping state and federal government.

Schroy told us he is a “proud Democrat,” and his wife is a Republican. He says their relationship is successful because they recognize life is complex and you need to be able to work and live with people despite political differences.

Forward’s mission, he said, is against rigid ideology on the left or right, and to meet in the middle – advancing causes that push Pennsylvania forward – values that align with his.

Schroy wants to focus on ways to help those struggling with addiction, underfunded schools, food insecurity, stagnant wages, and crushing cost of living.

“Making a big deal about chemtrails doesn’t help the people of this district,” he added.

Schroy says he is not “super ideological” and prefers the term “Pennsylvania Democrat” over moderate or liberal, and he is not afraid to put himself out there to explain his positions to those who don’t agree with him on many issues.

He accepted an invitation to speak at a recent Conservative Women of Waynesboro meeting and said that during three hours of good conversation, there was only one negative response – which he says speaks to the fact that people are willing to listen.

Schroy said he thinks a good way to address voter skepticism and election fraud conspiracy theories is transparency and education – getting the public “plugged into exactly how their vote gets counted.”

He commended the Franklin County Board of Elections for their efforts in conducting public ballot box tests that included representatives from political parties and local officials, allowing everyone to see the machines function as intended.

The current state of polarization is disappointing and upsetting to him because, he said, “this isn’t one of America’s promises.” Schroy pointed to the ability of ideologically opposed founders who set aside differences to ratify the Constitution.

Pennsylvania is a “razor thin purple state” Schroy said. “We need to make sure that we listen to each other and are willing to be humble and respectful enough to engage and talk to the other side.”

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