Pennsylvania's Democratic attorney general Josh Shapiro speaks to a crowd during his campaign launch address for Pennsylvania governor, in Pittsburgh. Shapiro, is breaking with Gov. Tom Wolf on the centerpiece of Wolf's plan to fight climate change amid the pushback it has received from influential building trades unions. Shapiro’s statement came as he prepared Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 to address union leaders from the pipeline trades who planned to question him about his position. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File) Pennsylvania's Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate,Josh Shapiro
Pennsylvania's Democratic attorney general Josh Shapiro speaks to a crowd during his campaign launch address for Pennsylvania governor, in Pittsburgh. Shapiro, is breaking with Gov. Tom Wolf on the centerpiece of Wolf's plan to fight climate change amid the pushback it has received from influential building trades unions. Shapiro’s statement came as he prepared Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 to address union leaders from the pipeline trades who planned to question him about his position. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

Calling Mastriano an “unacceptable choice” who is “way beyond what the Republican Party” stands for, a group of GOP officials with deep roots in Pennsylvania politics has formed a group to support Shapiro.

In an attempt to stop an “unacceptable choice,” a group of Republicans with deep roots in Pennsylvania state government and politics have formed a PAC supporting Democratic nominee for governor Josh Shapiro.

The group, Republicans4Shapiro, was formed by Craig Snyder, a former chief of staff for the late Republican US Sen. Arlen Specter.

“There’s a long history of Pennsylvania Republicans being from what I guess people call the moderate part of the party,” Snyder told PennLive in an interview. “All of a sudden, we have a nominee that is really far outside of that history, really far outside of that norm.”

Republicans4Shapiro is seeking 30-second videos from like-minded Republicans explaining their opposition to GOP gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano.

“I’m not here to praise Shapiro. I’m also not here to criticize Shapiro. I think Shapiro would be an effective, mainstream governor of Pennsylvania,” Snyder said. “The real issue is stopping an unacceptable choice, which is Mastriano.”

Former GOP US Rep. Jim Greenwood of Bucks County is chairman of the PAC and was one of nine Republicans who publicly endorsed Shapiro last week. In 2020, Greenwood spearheaded a similar effort to oppose former President Donald Trump.

“Donald Trump and Mastriano are way beyond what the Republican Party is supposed to stand for,” said Greenwood, who called Shapiro “a sane, commonsense, well-thought-of public servant.”

They point to several of Mastriano’s far-right stances on certain issues as the reason for their efforts, including Mastriano’s:

  • Opposition to abortion without exceptions
  • Participation in the Jan. 6 rally and attack on the US Capitol
  • Continued insistence of fraud in the 2020 election

“If you can’t say that Biden carried Pennsylvania, there’s something wrong with you. You are a stranger to truth,” Greenwood said.

Other members of the pro-Shapiro PAC include:

  • Former acting Pennsylvania Attorney General Walter Cohen and his wife, Susan, the former executive director of the state House Joint Bipartisan Committee
  • Murray Dickman, Secretary of Administration under former Republican Gov. Dick Thornburgh and an official at the U.S. Department of Justice under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush
  • Bob Wilburn, a former secretary of education, and budget and administration under Thornburgh; 
  • Former GOP state legislator, Common Pleas judge, and Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler
  • George Grode, who served as state insurance commission under Thornburgh
  • Former GOP state senator and Lt. Gov. Bob Jubelirer
  • James Seif, secretary of environmental protection under former Republican Gov. Tom Ridge
  • Joe Conti, a former Republican member of the state House and Senate
  • Republican fundraiser Bill Sasso