HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The current Attorney General wants to be your next governor. But should Josh Shapiro be able to keep his day job while seeking higher office? It is an age-old question in Pennsylvania and it’s being asked in earnest once again.
Josh Shapiro is making gubernatorial promises. “We’re gonna cut waste, modernize our infrastructure, demand accountability,” Shapiro said.
But one Republican opponent demands Attorney General Shapiro, who was sworn into a second term less than a year ago, resign while running for Governor. Charlie Gerow saying he should “admit that he has no interest in the job he asked for but wants to campaign for another.”
It’s not the first time this argument has been made in Pennsylvania. AG Tom Corbett ran for Governor in 2010. Government watchdogs didn’t like it then. “Attorney General Tom Corbett should resign,” Eric Epstein of Rock the Capital said.
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They feel the same about Shapiro now. “He should resign to run just like we said with Mr. Corbett,” Epstein said. “You cannot simultaneously hold an office, represent the people, and simultaneously run a full-time campaign. Somebody is getting short-shifted and it’s the taxpayers.”
Some states have resign to run laws. Those same laws have been introduced in the Pa. legislature and state agencies under the Governor’s control have a resign to run policy.
“I had to choose. Run for office, or quit my job and that’s a hard choice,” Patty Smith said. She worked for the Department of General Services in 2019 and decided to run for the State House. She still has the emails forcing that difficult decision, The Democrat left the Department, ran, and lost. “They told me you can’t work full-time and run full-time. It’ll affect your ability to do your job with the commonwealth and so I don’t know how he’s any different.”
Shapiro is a different branch of government from Smith. But she would argue it works for some more than others.
There is currently a resign-to-run bill in the State House authored by Pittsburgh Democrat Anthony Deluca.