Posted by on May 14, 2022 10:08 am
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Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Shapiro touts centrist profile

Pennsylvania candidate for governor, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks after receiving endorsements from environmental advocates at the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, Thursday, April 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Matt Rourke/AP

Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Shapiro touts centrist profile

Kate Scanlon May 14, 09:33 AMMay 14, 09:37 AM Video Embed

PITTSBURGH — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, ran unopposed for the nomination in his 2022 statewide bid. But after Tuesday’s primary, he will face a general election challenger, and his campaign recently sought to boost a far-right rival for that role.

As a state representative and later as Montgomery County commissioner in the Philadelphia suburbs, Shapiro gained a reputation as a centrist and as a deal-maker, winning praise from both sides of the aisle. He later rose to national prominence when as attorney general, he released a bombshell grand jury report detailing sexual abuse in Catholic churches and organizations in the state. He also joined numerous legal challenges to then-President Donald Trump’s administration’s policies.

PENNSYLVANIA GOP MAY BE STUCK WITH AN ELECTION SKEPTIC AS GUBERNATORIAL NOMINEE

But Shapiro has shied away from labeling his brand of Democrat, telling Jewish Insider earlier this year when asked if he was a progressive or a centrist, “I’ll leave the punditry to you.”

Shapiro has campaigned on a platform of reducing deficits while keeping taxes low, but also preserving the legality of abortion.

Shapiro recently indicated he believes his platform will prevail over the Republican front-runner, state Sen. Doug Mastriano, launching an ad campaign designed to boost him. Although Mastriano has gained traction with Republican primary voters, some Republicans in the state worry that he could go on to lose the general election in the fall should he win the Republican nomination due to his hard-right platform, including embracing former President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. Trump on Saturday endorsed Mastriano for the Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial nomination, a significant boost three days before the primary.

Will Bunch, a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, called Shapiro’s move a “dangerous game,” acknowledging that it may ultimately help Mastriano more than it hurts him, comparing it to some Democrats’ efforts to boost Trump in 2016.

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Pennsylvania is a key battleground state, and although election analysts predict this cycle will favor Republicans due in part to President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings and voter concern over inflation, the Pennsylvania governor’s race is considered a toss-up. Incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, is term-limited. And Republicans have lost four of the last five gubernatorial races in the Keystone State, suggesting that the Democrats have strong odds to maintain the governor’s mansion.

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