(WHTM) – Pennsylvania’s Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro has declared victory in the race to become Pennsylvania’s 48th Governor.
According to the Associated Press, with 94% of precincts reporting, Shapiro received 55% of the vote while Republican State Senator Doug Mastriano received 42%.
“Tonight, voters from Gen Z to our seniors, voters from all walks of life, have given me the honor of a lifetime, given me the chance to serve you as Pennsylvania’s next governor,” Shapiro told a cheering crowd of hundreds in his home of Montgomery County, in suburban Philadelphia.
Shapiro’s handpicked running mate for Lieutenant Governor, State Representative Austin Davis of Allegheny County, will be Pennsylvania’s first African American Lieutenant Governor.
Mastriano said Tuesday night that he will wait for all of the votes to be counted and his running mate Carrie DelRosso said “we gotta hunker down and wait it out.” His wife led the room in prayer asking the Lord to “intervene.”
“Have faith, we’re going to of course have faith and have patience,” Mastriano said. “We’re going to wait until every vote counts. It’s been fantastic run across the state here.”
Pennsylvania has not had consecutive Democrat Governors since 1955-63 when George Leader and David Lawrence were in office. It will be the first time Pennsylvania will have three consecutive terms of a Democrat Governor since 1838-1848 (Porter & Shunk).
Shapiro announced his candidacy in October 2021 and ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.
While Republicans put nine candidates on the primary ballot, Shapiro grew his campaign war chest and ran ads appearing to prop up Mastriano as his preferred general election opponent.
Shapiro spent almost $1 million highlighting Mastriano’s views during the GOP primary, more than double what Mastriano himself spent on advertising, according to The Hill.
In September The Hill reported campaign finance records showed Shapiro raised about $25.4 million between June 7 and Sept. 19, while Mastriano raised almost $3.2 million during the same period. Shapiro’s fundraising smashed the state’s two decade old spending record.
By October Shapiro reported $44 million in spending, including in-kind contributions, eclipsing the 2001-02 campaign spending record set by Democrat Ed Rendell of just under $42 million.
Once the general election season began Shapiro led in most statewide polls, many by double digits.
An October New York Times/Siena College poll found Shapiro with a favorability rating 16 points higher than Mastriano with 49% of voters having an unfavorable opinion of Mastriano.
According to his campaign website, Shapiro has promised to “defend access to reproductive health care,” reform the cash bail system for non-violent offense, and expand early voting.
Shapiro was joined on the campaign trail by President Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama in the final weeks of the election.
Before his time as the attorney general for Pennsylvania, Shapiro was the chairman of the Board of Commissioners in Montgomery County. He is in his second term as the attorney general.
Shapiro will be the first Pennsylvania Attorney General to be elected Governor since Tom Corbett in 2010. Shapiro is also the youngest Governor of Pennsylvania since Mark Schweiker in 2001 (48), who was promoted after Tom Ridge resigned to join George W. Bush’s administration. Shapiro is the youngest elected PA Governor since Dick Thornburgh in 1978 (46).
Shapiro will be sworn in on January 17, 2023, and will have the ability to nominate his successor as Attorney General, which must be approved by the State Senate.