Democrat Josh Shapiro woos GOP voters with slate of Republican endorsements
Democrat Josh Shapiro rolled out another slate of endorsements from Republicans in his Pennsylvania gubernatorial bid as he seeks to court GOP and independent voters dissatisfied with the race’s Republican nominee.
Shapiro is competing against state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who critics say is too extreme to win the mainstream Republican support he would need in order to be successful in November’s general election.
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Shapiro, who as a state lawmaker cultivated a reputation of being a centrist, has emphasized lower taxes, the economy, and public safety in his appeals to more conservative voters.
“I am proud to receive the endorsement of these Republican leaders who are putting our Commonwealth ahead of partisan politics in order to come together and move Pennsylvania forward,” he said in a statement. “From cutting taxes and getting our economy moving again, to improving our schools and keeping our communities safe, I know we can work together to get things done for Pennsylvania. I have always worked to bring Republicans and Democrats together — and that’s exactly what I will continue to do in this campaign and as Governor.”
Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s attorney general, rolled out another slate of endorsements from Republicans in July that included former Reps. Charlie Dent and Jim Greenwood.
The new additions include Michael Chertoff, the former U.S. secretary of homeland security under then-President George W. Bush, as well as former state lawmakers.
“Right now, we all have a responsibility to support candidates of whichever party who will stand up and defend our democracy,” Chertoff said. “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.”
The other Republicans from the commonwealth who endorsed Shapiro this week include Mario Civera, a former state representative; David Heckler, former Bucks County district attorney and both a former state senator and representative; and former state Reps. Raymond Bunt Jr., Jim Kelly, Beverly Mackereth, and J. Scot Chadwick.
Mastriano won Pennsylvania’s Republican gubernatorial nomination in May despite a last-ditch effort by some state Republicans to coalesce around a different candidate they felt would fare better against Shapiro. Controversy surrounding the candidate led some Republicans to break ranks with their party to support his rival.
An avid supporter of Donald Trump, Mastriano was endorsed by the former president just days before the primary. Mastriano backed Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen. He also attended a QAnon-linked event in Gettysburg and the Washington, D.C., rally that took place before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, using campaign funds for buses to take supporters to Washington that day. Mastriano also frequently blocks media from his campaign events.
Reuters last week published a photo of Mastriano posing in a Confederate uniform for a 2013-14 faculty photo at the Army War College. The faculty members were reportedly given the opportunity to dress in historical attire for the photo. The Army War College told the outlet it removed the photo from its facility because it “does not meet AWC values.” Mastriano did not comment for the report.
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After Mastriano secured his party’s nomination, nonpartisan election analysts changed the race’s rating from “toss-up” to “leans Democrat.”