Democrat Josh Shapiro wins Pennsylvania governor’s race

Nov 8, 2022, 7:14 AM | Updated: 10:22 pm
Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, his wife Rebecca Mastriano, and run...

Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, his wife Rebecca Mastriano, and running mate Carrie Lewis DelRosso pray on stage with supporters during his election night campaign gathering at the Penn Harris Hotel in Camp Hill, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. Democrat Josh Shapiro won the race for governor of Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

              Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, his wife Rebecca Mastriano, and running mate Carrie Lewis DelRosso pray on stage with supporters during his election night campaign gathering at the Penn Harris Hotel in Camp Hill, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. Democrat Josh Shapiro won the race for governor of Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
            
              Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, his wife Rebecca Mastriano, and running mate Carrie Lewis DelRosso pray on stage with supporters during his election night campaign gathering at the Penn Harris Hotel in Camp Hill, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. Democrat Josh Shapiro won the race for governor of Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
            
              Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, speaks with members of the media after casting his ballot in the midterm elections in Rydal , Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
            
              Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, speaks with members of the media after casting his ballot in the midterm elections in Rydal , Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
            
              Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, the state's attorney general, attends an election night event, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Oaks, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
            
              Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, the state's attorney general, attends an election night event, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Oaks, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
            
              Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, speaks with members of the media after casting his ballot in the midterm elections in Rydal , Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
            
              Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, speaks with members of the media after casting his ballot in the midterm elections in Rydal , Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
            
              Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano listens his wife Rebecca Mastriano says a prayer during an election night campaign event at the Penn Harris Hotel in Camp Hill, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
            
              Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano speaks during an election night campaign event at the Penn Harris Hotel in Camp Hill, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
            
              Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, the state's attorney general, attends an election night event, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Oaks, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
            
              Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, the state's attorney general, and his wife Lori Shapiro, attend an election night event, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Oaks, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
            
              Supports of Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano pose for photographs during his election night campaign gathering at the Penn Harris Hotel in Camp Hill, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
            
              Supports of Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano pose for photographs during his election night campaign gathering at the Penn Harris Hotel in Camp Hill, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
            
              FILE - Pennsylvania candidate for governor, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, speaks during a news conference in Philadelphia, Oct. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
            
              FILE - Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano speaks during a campaign stop in Erie, Pa., Sept. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/David Dermer, File)
            
              Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, speaks with members of the media after casting his ballot in the midterm elections in Rydal , Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
            
              Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, accompanied by his Lori Shapiro, departs after casting his ballot in the midterm elections in Rydal , Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
            
              Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano walks with his completed ballot to put it into a voting machine to vote at his polling place, the New LIFE Worship Center Church of God, in Fayetteville, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
            
              Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano wears an "I Voted" sticker after voting at his polling place, the New LIFE Worship Center Church of God, in Fayetteville, Pa., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
            
              Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, the state's attorney general, attends an election night event, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Oaks, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
            
              This combination of photos shows Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate state Attorney General Josh Shapiro on June 29, 2022, in Philadelphia, left, and Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano on Sept. 29, 2022, in Erie, Pa., right. (AP Photo)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Democrat Josh Shapiro won the race for governor of Pennsylvania, securing the office for four years in a state where the future of abortion rights is on the line, along with management of the 2024 election in a battleground that is often decisive in choosing presidents.

Shapiro, the state’s two-term elected attorney general, ran to the middle on several key issues and smashed Pennsylvania’s campaign finance record in a powerhouse campaign, swamping Republican Doug Mastriano in a deluge of TV ads.

He had led polls from the start over Mastriano, and his victory — in a year in which Democrats nationally faced headwinds, including high inflation — made him the first governor to be elected to succeed a member of his party since 1966.

“Tonight, voters from Gen Z to our seniors, voters from all walks of life, have given me the honor of a lifetime, given me the chance to serve you as Pennsylvania’s next governor,” Shapiro told a cheering crowd of hundreds in his home of Montgomery County, in suburban Philadelphia.

Shapiro thanked his family and supporters and went on to tell the crowd that “real freedom won tonight” and “Democracy endured” in a race he characterized as, in part, a fight to preserve the right to vote, the right to organize a union and the right to an abortion.

He also thanked Republicans he said had voted for a Democrat for the first time, and said that with their vote “comes a responsibility to govern by bringing people together and getting things done.”

“And so Pennsylvania, tonight we showed how to build a coalition to win a race in a big way, and tomorrow we begin the hard work of building a coalotion to govern this commonwealth and move us forward,” Shapiro said.

He did not mention Mastriano, whom he bitterly attacked during the campaign as surrounding himself with white supremacists and was intolerant of anyone different from him.

Mastriano, who ran a hard-right campaign, had not publicly conceded by early Wednesday. Shortly after Shapiro’s comments, Mastriano spoke in a hotel in suburban Harrisburg, telling the crowd they would wait for every vote to be counted and “respect” the decision Pennsylvanians make.

“Have faith, we’re going to of course have faith and have patience,” Mastriano said. “We’re going to wait until very vote counts. It’s been fantastic run across the state here.”

In light of June’s Supreme Court decision on abortion rights, Shapiro vowed to protect Pennsylvania’s existing 24-week law and he touted his office’s fights in court to protect the state’s 2020 election from former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn it.

Mastriano had said he supported a complete ban on abortion, with no exceptions, and had been a point person in Trump’s drive to stay in power and spread lies about a stolen election.

Shapiro, a political force strong enough to clear the Democratic primary, has now won three statewide elections and came into the race as the all-time highest-vote getter in a single election in Pennsylvania, breaking the record in his own 2020 reelection.

With no primary challenger to force him to the left on key issues, Shapiro took middle-of-the-road positions on policies around education funding, COVID-19 mitigation and energy.

He endorsed Austin Davis, a state lawmaker, to be his running mate and the first Black lieutenant governor in a state that has never elected a Black governor or U.S. senator.

In his own remarks, Davis called it a “historic night” and said his steelworker and railroad foreman grandfathers, who migrated north from the segregated South for a better life, could not have predicted he would be elected to such a high office.

Shapiro will succeed Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term and had endorsed Shapiro. He will likely share power with entrenched Republican majorities in the state Legislature.

Shapiro, 49, served in the state House of Representatives and chaired the Montgomery County commissioners board before winning election as the state’s top prosecutor in 2016 with no law enforcement background and little practical courtroom experience.

There, he righted an office rocked by his scandal-plagued predecessor and produced a landmark grand jury report in 2018 on the cover-up of child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses.

He also was on the national stage in helping lead state attorneys general in settlement talks with big pharmaceutical distributors and major drug manufacturers over the U.S. opioid addiction crisis. On gun violence, he has emphasized his office’s efforts to trace guns used in crimes, break up gun-trafficking rings and clamp down on so-called “ghost guns.”

Mastriano comparatively struggled to raise money and relied on a passionate grassroots volunteer force and daily Facebook videos to connect with followers.

A relative political novice, Mastriano, 58, a state senator and retired Army colonel, alienated moderates with a right-wing platform that nevertheless had helped him lock down the party’s furthest-right voters, secure Trump’s endorsement and win a crammed, nine-way primary election.

No GOP contender for governor in the U.S. did more to subvert the 2020 presidential election than Mastriano — and Democrats accused him of preparing to subvert the next one from the governor’s office, while many in his own party predicted he was too extreme to win a general election in Pennsylvania.

Mastriano had other liabilities.

He peddled conspiracy theories throughout the campaign after becoming one of Pennsylvania’s leading spreaders of Trump’s lies about fraud in the 2020 presidential election. He campaigned with far-right figures, including propagandists, QAnon conspiracy theorists, election deniers, self-described prophets and Christian nationalists.

His once-active account on Gab, a social media site popular with white supremacists and antisemites, where he also spent $5,000 for advertising, prompted a condemnation by the national Republican Jewish Coalition.

His use of what scholars call Christian nationalist themes — generally defined as fusing American and Christian values, symbols and identity, often into a view that God has destined America for a special role in history and that it will receive divine blessing or judgment depending on its obedience — also turned off some voters.

Mastriano avoided speaking to most independent news organizations and struggled to explain his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, when he was outside the U.S. Capitol with pro-Trump demonstrators and looked on as they attacked police.

His presence there prompted the FBI to interview him, and his plan to overturn the election results, introduced as a resolution in the Legislature, drew a subpoena from the U.S. House committee investigating the insurrection.

___

Follow Marc Levy on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/timelywriter.

___

Brooke Schultz of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative contributed to this report from Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

___

Learn more about the issues and factors at play in the midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections. And follow the AP’s election coverage of the 2022 elections at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A sign at Twitter headquarters is shown in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chi...
David Klepper, Associated Press

Twitter ends enforcement of COVID misinformation policy

Twitter will no longer enforce its policy against COVID-19 misinformation, raising concerns among public health experts and social media researchers that the change could have serious consequences if it discourages vaccination and other efforts to combat the still-spreading virus. Eagle-eyed users spotted the change Monday night, noting that a one-sentence update had been made to […]
8 hours ago
FILE - Dr. Caitlin Bernard, a reproductive health care provider, speaks during an abortion rights r...
Associated Press

Penalty asked for doctor who spoke of 10-year-old’s abortion

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s Republican attorney general on Wednesday asked the state medical licensing board to discipline an Indianapolis doctor who has spoken publicly about providing an abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled from Ohio after its more-restrictive abortion law took effect. The complaint alleges Dr. Caitlin Bernard violated state law by not […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

EU sees 6-year high in numbers of people seeking asylum

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s asylum agency said Wednesday that the number of people seeking asylum in Europe has hit a six-year high, with Syrian nationals once again seeking international protection more than people from any other country. The agency said that around 98,000 asylum applications were lodged in September in the 27 EU […]
1 day ago
This photo provided by Dennis Senibaldi, a transfer station supervisor, shows the wedding rings rec...
Associated Press

Celery stalk in trash, luck, lead to lost wedding rings

WINDHAM, N.H. (AP) — A celery stalk sighting and a little luck came together to help a New Hampshire man find his wife’s wedding rings in a 20-ton trash trailer, the jewelry wrapped in a napkin he had accidentally thrown away. Kevin Butler had taken the trash to a transfer station in Windham last Wednesday. […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Spain starts new code to avoid sexism in ads for kids’ toys

MADRID (AP) — Spain said Wednesday it’s enacting a new ethics code to discourage toy manufacturers from using sexist stereotypes such as dolls for girls and action figures for boys in advertisements as the Christmas season kicks off. A government statement said the new “self-regulatory” code urges companies to run adverts that engender an image […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Zambian killed in Ukraine was employed as Russian mercenary

MOSCOW (AP) — A Zambian student who had been serving a prison sentence in Russia and died fighting alongside Russian troops in Ukraine had been employed by Russian mercenary group Wagner, its leader said. Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin said on the Russian social media app VKontake on Tuesday that the student, 23 year-old Lemekhane […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Democrat Josh Shapiro wins Pennsylvania governor’s race