HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Doug Mastriano and Josh Shapiro are the projected nominees in the November 2022 Pennsylvania Governor’s race.
Shapiro, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, currently serves as the commonwealth’s Attorney General.
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Mastriano, who ran in a crowded primary, is a State Senator representing Franklin County who received more than 40% of the vote in the early, unofficial tally.
Learn more about each candidate hoping to fill the empty seat Gov. Tom Wolf will leave behind in 2023 below. The information provided is from the candidates’ websites, polling information, or articles from abc27’s reporters.
Doug Mastriano (R)
Mastriano announced his candidacy in January 2022 at a rally in Gettysburg and started the primary race neck-and-neck with former Congressman Lou Barletta in the polls.
Now, in a recently published poll, Mastriano trails Democratic candidate Shapiro by four points with just 13% of voters in the survey still undecided. That puts Shapiro’s advantage over Mastriano within the poll’s 4.4% margin of error.
Mastriano is entering the general election campaign with stronger support among GOP voters than Oz. Eighty-three percent of Republicans say they are backing him, while nearly as many Democrats – 82 percent – are supporting Shapiro. In Central Pennsylvania, Mastriano also holds a strong lead over Shapiro.
During his victory party, Mastriano opened his remarks with a Scripture, saying: “God uses the foolish to confound the wise.” He has not only made faith central to his personal story but has woven conservative Christian beliefs and symbols into the campaign. Mastriano, however, has rejected the “Christian nationalist” label in the past.
Following the primary, Mastriano was allowed back inside the Republican caucus’ closed-door meetings. Mastriano had been kicked out last year after leaders concluded he had shared information that was supposed to be confidential.
Mastriano has been in the media for ties to the events at the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, including his sponsorship of buses being sent to the Capitol. It was a topic of discussion at debates during the primary campaign trail.
With the Jan. 6 hearings now taking place, Mastriano offered to sit for an interview with the congressional committee investigating the attacks. Mastriano previously denied breaking any laws that day, and he has not been charged with any crime in connection to the Capitol attack.
Among other issues expected to impact the general election, abortion is one of them. While it is currently legal in Pennsylvania, the next governor will likely see a bill that would further restrict abortion rights.
Mastriano supports tougher laws, such as the Heartbeat Bill, with much tougher penalties. Mastriano says that doctors who perform abortions in Pennsylvania should and will be punished if he wins the governor race.
On his campaign website, Mastriano says, if elected, he will also eliminate “all pandemic executive orders and edicts” from the Wolf administration, place an immediate ban on government and school mask mandates, and put an immediate ban on all COVID-19 mandates.
Outside of COVID-19 policies, Mastriano says he will also work to restore election integrity by ending all contracts with compromised voting machine companies and by appointing a secretary of state with experience in securing elections from fraud.
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During the Republican primary debate hosted by abc27, Mastriano promised to reset the commonwealth’s voter roll, potentially forcing all eligible residents to re-register to vote.
According to the Associated Press, “such a move is barred by the National Voter Registration Act and likely runs into significant protections under the federal — and possibly state — constitution and laws, constitutional law scholars say.”
Josh Shapiro (D)
Pennsylvania’s Attorney General announced his candidacy in October 2021 and was the lone Democrat on the May primary ballot.
Since the primary election where he was named the official Democratic nominee, he marked the start of his general election campaign with a trip to Johnstown where he spoke on a range of topics that included education funding, school safety, policing, abortion and affordable internet access to underserved communities.
He also poke about his GOP opponent Mastriano saying he has no meaningful plan to help improve the state and claimed he will work to take away Pennsylvanians’ rights citing abortion, jobs, unions, education and voting.
While Shapiro only held a slight lead over Mastriano in the USA Today poll, Shapiro holds majority support in Philadelphia and the southwest. Shapiro also had 68% of African American voters support, while Mastriano only held 5%.
Regarding abortion laws, Shapiro says he will veto any abortion bill that he believes Mastriano would sign. “He is dangerous, he is extreme, and he is way out of touch with where most Pennsylvanians are on this issue,” said Shapiro of Mastriano.
Shapiro says that he will support and defend Pennsylvania’s abortion laws up to 23 weeks into pregnancy with consultation from a physician, and after 24 weeks if a woman’s life or health is at risk.
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.
Heading into the election year, Shapiro entered 2022 with $13.4 million in his campaign account, which is a state record for a candidate. According to Q1 financial filings, Shapiro collected an extra $4.5 million in the first three months of 2022 and has $12 million more cash on hand than all nine Republican candidates combined.
Shapiro appeared on This Week in Pennsylvania with Owens at the end of March. Running unopposed, Owens and Shapiro discussed what the November general election day could look like.
They discussed that there is a risk, with inflation and rising gas prices, that the Democratic party could be branded a certain way with many blaming Democratic President Joe Biden and talked about whether that could impact Shapiro in November.
Shapiro responded, saying, “Here’s what I know, there are global reasons why prices are going up. And number two, I have won tough races before. In 2016, I won when the top of our ticket lost and in 2020, I won when a lot of other Democrats lost and earned more votes than anyone in the history of Pennsylvania running for any office at any time.”
In January, Shapiro endorsed Pittsburgh-area state lawmaker Austin Davis to be his running mate and lieutenant governor. Davis won his primary, according to a projection by the Associated Press.
To learn more about Shapiro, visit his campaign website by clicking here.
Christina “PK” Digiulio (Green Party)
The Green Party of Pennsylvania announced that Christina “PK” Digiulio will be their candidate for Governor in 2022. Digiulio has a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Lock Haven University and previously worked for a number of years for the Department of Defense.
If elected, the Green Party says she “would work to inform residents and protect the environment.”
Matt Hackenburg (L)
The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania announced that Matt Hackenburg has been nominated to be the party’s official nominee for governor.
Hackenburg, a former member of the Army National Guard, lives in Northampton County and has a fifteen-year career as a computer engineer in the aerospace industry.
Republican Primary candidates
In 2018, Lou Barletta was the Republican Party’s Donald Trump-endorsed nominee for U.S. Senate, and in May 2021, he announced his run for Pennsylvania governor.
In the race for the nomination, the former congressman has seen his name towards the top of the leader board in recently published polls. In the WHTM/Emerson College Polling/The Hill Pennsylvania primary poll of 1,000 very likely Republican voters, Barletta led the party with 19.8%.
Barletta had his candidate status approved on March 11.
The Montgomery County commissioner announced his candidacy for governor in February 2021. According to his campaign website, Joe Gale was the first elected official in Pennsylvania to endorse former President Trump during his 2016 campaign.
Gale’s brother Sean ran for Pennsylvania’s United States Senate seat during the same campaign season.
Both brothers were approved for their individual races, with Joe Gale’s name officially added to the governor race ballot on March 14.
The Conservative activist announced his candidacy at a firehouse in Cumberland County in June 2021. Charlie Gerow also runs a communications and marketing firm in Harrisburg and is a Pa. Republican party committee member. He began his political career on the campaign staff of Ronald Reagan.
According to Q1 financial filings, Gerow had $46,907 contributed in the first three months of 2022. He also reported $179,072.70 in cash on hand at the time of the filings.
Gerow visited abc27 to appear on This Week in Pennsylvania with Owens on Feb. 20 to discuss his campaign.
Gerow shared with Owens that his path forward was to get better known.
Gerow’s candidate status was officially approved on March 15.
Announced in September 2021, William McSwain, former U.S. Attorney appointed by former President Trump, is running for governor.
Rounding out the top four, the former United States Attorney received 7.9% of voter’s support in the WHTM/Emerson College Polling/The Hill Pennsylvania primary poll. With undecided voters taken into account, McSwain’s percentage increased to 12%.
McSwain jumped to third in the Trafalgar Group poll, moving ahead of White, with 17.4%.
Trump complained the former federal prosecutor did “absolutely nothing” to investigate Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud after Democrat Joe Biden won the state in 2020. McSwain, who spent nearly three years as the top federal prosecutor in Philadelphia under Trump, has often touted the connection as he campaigns for the GOP nod in a crowded primary field.
However, Trump turned on him, saying, “One person in Pennsylvania who I will not be endorsing is Bill McSwain for Governor.” He then went on in the statement to call McSwain a coward.
In the first three months of 2022, McSwain received the second most in the Q1 contributions with $1,433,188.05. His cash on hand was filed at $1,699.534.62.
As of March 14, McSwain’s signatures were collected and his candidate status for the primary was approved.
Dr. Nche Zama made his candidacy official in May 2021. Zama is a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon and has worked for hospitals across Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, York, East Stroudsburg, and other locations.
Zama visited abc27 to sit down with Owens for This Week in Pennsylvania on February 13. On the topic of why he is qualified for the elected office, Zama said, “I have visited all 67 counties, and too often, somebody comes up to me and says, ‘You’re too smart to be governor’ and ‘Why don’t you just run for president.’ And I’m going, the qualifications to be governor, I think it has to be somebody who has a heart for service.”
When asked why he wants to be governor, Zama said he loves Pennsylvania and wants to lead the charge in creating a better future for children.
Zama graduated from high school at the age of 14 in Cameroon, Central Africa, before moving to the United States. “Educational empowerment” is a pillar of Zama’s campaign.
Zama’s candidate status was officially approved on March 15.
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The former businessman from Delaware County joined the race in January 2021. He might not be leading in the polls, but, according to Q1 financial filings, he leads the Republican party with the most funds raised since the start of 2022 with $1.7 million.
However, according to the report, he has spent a significant portion of the money with only $171,000 remaining on hand. White’s own financial records show that he has spent $3.5 million on television ads and $151,729 on digital media campaigns.
White has also raised $588,800 in political committee donations over $250, the most among the Republican candidates. He’s loaned the campaign $4 million since Sept. 2021, including $1 million in March 2022.
In the WHTM/Emerson College Polling/The Hill Pennsylvania primary poll, White came in third to Barletta and Mastriano with 11.6% of voters’ support. When undecided voters were taken into account, he remained in third with 12%.
White’s candidate status was approved, after he collected the necessary signatures, on March 11.
- Jason Monn (R)
- Mike Turzai (R)
- Dan Meuser (R)
- Scott Martin (R) — He announced that he was suspending his campaign for governor due to ongoing medical issues caused by his recent leg injury and issued the following statement: “The injuries to my leg were beyond a simple broken bone and included a severing of numerous ligaments and tendons in my ankle that are going to require greater and longer rehabilitation than I originally hoped would be necessary.”
- Guy Ciarrocchi (R) — “It is time that I close this chapter and wish my colleagues well—both old and new friends. You know that I will continue to be a voice for local businesses, an advocate for children, a defender of liberty—and someone who believes in the promise of America.”
- Jason Richey (R) — Despite receiving enough petitions to appear on the ballot, the Associated Press reported on March 17 that Richey dropped out of the race and endorsed William McSwain. The Pittsburgh-based attorney announced his run for governor in May 2021.
- Jake Corman (R) — After first dropping out and re-entering the race on April 12, Corman will reportedly drop out of the race on May 12. Corman, a Bellefonte resident, received 4% support in the WHTM/Emerson College Polling/The Hill Pennsylvania primary poll. The President Pro Tempore of Pennsylvania’s Senate joined the race for governor in November 2021.
- Melissa Hart (R) — The former Republican member of the United States House, dropped out of the race on May 13 and endorsed Lou Barletta. She is the only female in the Republican primary field. During her time in Congress, she was a co-chair of the Republican National Convention. In the WHTM/Emerson College Polling/The Hill Pennsylvania primary poll, Hart received 3.1% of participants’ support.
Did Not Meet Petition Requirements
John Ventre (R) – According to election officials, Ventre did not meet the petition requirements to appear on the primary ballot.
In June 2021, the Republican from Westmoreland County announced his candidacy. According to his campaign website, if elected, John Ventre planned to reduce state legislators from 253 to 67, make election day a state holiday, and repeal Act 77 among other things.
Shawn Berger (R) – According to election officials, Berger, a businessman from Carbon County, did not meet the petition requirements to appear on the primary ballot.
Christina Olson (G) — The Hellertown resident announced her campaign and became the sole candidate in the Green party. She did not meet the petition requirements to appear on the primary ballot.
Joe Soloski (L) — As the sole Libertarian candidate, Joe Soloski believed in the principles of limited government and minimum state spending, according to his campaign website. He did not meet the petition requirements to appear on the primary ballot.
This page will continue to be updated as candidates join or drop from the race. Links to each candidate’s campaign page will also be updated as they become available. Plus, visit Pennsylvania Politics or Your Local Election HQ on abc27.com for more information on upcoming elections.