Nov 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Shapiro wins Pennsylvania governor race, defeats Mastriano

Josh Shapiro at a campaign event as he runs for Pennsylvania governor.

Josh Shapiro speaks during a rally on Nov. 6 at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pa. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Democrat Josh Shapiro was elected Pennsylvania's next governor, defeating Trump-backed Republican challenger Doug Mastriano, the Associated Press reported.

Why it matters: Shapiro, who is the state’s attorney general, has said he'll be a firewall against state Republican-led efforts to limit abortion access, impose voting restrictions and loosen gun laws.

The big picture: The current state political dynamics will remain in place next year. A Democrat will continue to occupy the governor's mansion, and the GOP will likely hold its majorities in the state House and Senate.

  • Shapiro will take over for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who was term-limited.
  • Plus: Shapiro's running mate, state Rep. Austin Davis, will become the state’s first Black lieutenant governor.

Between the lines: Throughout the contest, Shapiro maintained a lopsided fundraising and spending advantage over Mastriano.

  • The Democrat relied on traditional campaign tactics, collecting endorsements and interacting with the media, while endorsing policies to gain traction with Republican voters, including taxpayer-funded school choice scholarships.

Meanwhile: Mastriano, a state senator and retired Army colonel, ran an unconventional campaign on a shoestring budget, shunning traditional media in favor of connecting with voters via Facebook livestreams and far-right media and platforms.

  • The MAGA Republican also resisted a pivot to the center after winning his party's nomination, unlike many of his counterparts, instead maintaining support for outlawing abortions and false claims about the 2020 election.

Zoom in: Mastriano's loss could signal the fading political appeal of former President Trump in Pennsylvania, which he captured in 2016 but lost in 2020 to President Biden.

Background: Shapiro, 49, who lives in Abington Township, previously served in the state House of Representatives from 2005 to 2012 and was a Montgomery County commissioner.

What's next: Shapiro will be sworn into office on Jan. 17.

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