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More Republicans Throw Support Behind Democrat Josh Shapiro

Election 2022 Governor Pennsylvania

FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2021 file photo, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks at a news conference at Marsh Creek State Park in Downingtown. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

By Patrick Berkery

August 31, 2022

With Doug Mastriano appearing more extreme by the day, the coalition of Republicans endorsing Shapiro in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race continues to grow.

More Republicans are getting behind Democrat Josh Shapiro in the Pennsylvania governor’s race, as far-right GOP candidate Doug Mastriano continues to scare off many moderate members of the party with his extremism.

On Tuesday, seven more GOP leaders announced they were endorsing Shapiro. The group includes Michael Chertoff, the former US Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush, and David Heckler, the former Bucks County District Attorney and state legislator.

They join a growing coalition of Republicans supporting Shapiro.  In July, a group of nine Pennsylvania Republicans endorsed Shapiro, including former US Reps. Charlie Dent (Lehigh) and Jim Greenwood (Bucks). A Republican PAC, Republicans4Shapiro, is also trying to use its influence to keep Mastriano from becoming Pennsylvania’s next governor. That group is headed up by Craig Snyder, a former chief of staff for the late Republican US Sen. Arlen Specter.

Like the initial group of Republicans endorsing Shapiro, his latest GOP backers see Mastriano as a legitimate threat to democracy.

“I dedicated my career in public service to upholding the rule of law and defending the Constitution,” said Chertoff in a statement. “Right now, we all have a responsibility to support candidates of whichever party who will stand up and defend our democracy. 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.”

“Josh has a proven ability to bring together qualified people from across party lines to accomplish important work,” Heckler said. “Although I am a Republican, I consider Mr. Mastriano to be completely out of his league. He is ill informed, divisive and unworthy to be Governor of this Commonwealth. I am proud to support Josh Shapiro and I am confident he will lead Pennsylvania well.”

As the election cycle grinds on, Mastriano seems more dangerous by the day. His extreme views on abortion, continuous lies about the 2020 election, strong ties to the Jan. 6 insurrection, association with anti-Semites and conspiracy theorists, and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric is well documented. And his extreme bona fides continue to mount.

Over the last week, a photo surfaced of Mastriano wearing a Confederate uniform for a 2017 faculty photo at the Army War College in Carlisle, and while appearing on a conservative radio show, Mastriano said discouraging conversion therapy is “disgusting” and LGBTQ children are simply “confused.”

Here are the latest Republicans to endorse Shapiro

  • Michael Chertoff, former United States Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Mario Civera, former state Rep. (Delaware), and chair of the Delaware County Council
  • David Heckler, former Bucks County District Attorney, state Sen., and state Rep., (Bucks)
  • Raymond Bunt Jr., former state Rep., (Montgomery)
  • Jim Kelly, former state Rep. (Allegheny) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce
  • Beverly Mackereth, former state Rep. (York), Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare
  • J. Scot Chadwick, Former state Rep., (Bradford)

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