In his bid for governor of Pennsylvania, Democrat Josh Shapiro has released a new batch of Republican supporters in an effort to win over Republican and swing voters who are unhappy with the Republican contender.
Shapiro is vying against state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who detractors say is too radical to capture the conventional Republican votes he would need in order to get ahead in November’s election.
For more conservative voters, state legislator Shapiro, who has built an image as a moderate, has focused on tax cuts, the economy, and public safety.
In a statement, he expressed his gratitude for the support of the Republican politicians who “are putting our Commonwealth ahead of partisan politics in order to come together and move Pennsylvania forward. I’m confident that we can find common ground and get things done for Pennsylvania, such as lowering taxes and reviving the economy, as well as strengthening education and ensuring the safety of residents. I am running for Governor because I intend to continue doing what I’ve always done: working to unite Republicans and Democrats.”
I’m Josh Shapiro, Democratic nominee for Governor of PA.
Unlike my opponent, Doug Mastriano, I haven’t paid thousands of dollars to recruit white supremacists to join my campaign.
I’m just a proud Pennsylvanian, running to be your Governor. Retweet and follow if you’re with me.
— Josh Shapiro (@JoshShapiroPA) August 28, 2022
Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s attorney general, sent out another list of endorsements from Republican politicians in July, which included retired Reps. Charlie Dent and Jim Greenwood.
These new members include former state legislators and former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff (during the presidency of George W. Bush).
“Right now, we all have an obligation to support candidates of either party who will stand up and defend our democracy,” Chertoff stated. “Although I am a long-standing Republican, I am deeply troubled by Doug Mastriano’s embrace of dangerous extremism. Josh Shapiro, on the other hand, is a staunch defender of our democratic institutions and will lead Pennsylvania with honor and integrity. I am proud to support his campaign for Governor.”
Former state representatives Mario Civera, Jim Kelly, Beverly Mackereth, J. Scot Chadwick, and Raymond Bunt Jr. are among the other Republicans in the Commonwealth to back Shapiro this week.
Mastriano secured Pennsylvania’s Republican gubernatorial candidacy in May amid a last-ditch push by some state Republicans to consolidate around a new candidate they felt would perform better against Shapiro. The drama surrounding the candidate drove several Republicans to split forces with their party to support his competitor.
Mastriano, a staunch backer of President Trump, received the endorsement of the former president in the final days before the primary. Mastriano supported Trump’s accusations that the 2020 election was rigged. He also decided to attend a QAnon-linked event in Gettysburg and the Washington, D.C., protest that took place before the Jan. 6 Capitol brawl, utilizing campaign funding for buses to drive supporters to Washington that day. Mastriano also often prevents reporters from covering his campaign events.
Reuters revealed a photo of Mastriano dressed as a Confederate soldier for the Army War College faculty portrait in 2013–14 last week. The faculty members were apparently offered the choice to dress in historical garb for the photo. The Army War College told the publication it removed the photo from its site because it “does not fit AWC values.” Mastriano did not comment on the report.
Nonpartisan election analysts shifted their prediction from a “toss-up” to a “leans Democrat” after Mastriano won his party’s candidacy.