Josh Shapiro projected to win Pennsylvania governor race

Pennsylvania 2022 midterm election

(NewsNation) — The Pennsylvania governor’s race, which was in the national spotlight during the 2022 midterms, has been called by NewsNation/ Decision Desk HQ in favor of Josh Shapiro.

Pennsylvania’s Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro battled it out against hardline Republican State Senator Doug Mastriano for the top job in the state. Incumbent Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is term-limited. 

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Shapiro gained national recognition for his investigation into sexual abuse among Roman Catholic clergy. In one of the most politically competitive states in the U.S, Shapiro has waged what some called a relatively drama-free campaign, believing voters are exhausted by the deeply divisive political landscape of today.    

Meanwhile, retired U.S. Army Colonel Mastriano has been a controversial figure in his bid for governor, echoing former President Donald Trump’s false claims of voter fraud during the 2020 election. If elected, Mastriano pledged he will require all Pennsylvanians to re-register to vote. He was also present at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021 riots, but has denied taking part in the unrest. 

The GOP candidate has taken a down-the-party-line stance on social issues — opposed to abortion under all circumstances including rape, incest and the life of the mother; opposed to same-sex marriage and denied the existence of climate change. Republican leaders who initially criticized Mastriano as being too extreme to win the fall general election think he could still win if the electorate is angry enough over the issue of inflation.

Shapiro out-raised and out-spent Mastriano by tens of millions of dollars, carving out a formidable financial advantage for himself. Campaign finance records show outside groups funneled millions into Shaprio’s coffers, most with the goal of keeping Mastriano out of office. Meanwhile, Mastriano has received institutional fundraising help, including events headlined by state party leaders Donald Trump Jr. and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

In a particularly heated moment during the race, Mastriano’s top adviser Jenna Ellis appeared to question Shapiro’s Jewish faith. In response, Shaprio’s camp said the comments were “another reminder of the stakes of this race” and called Mastriano’s stance “dangerous extremism.” 

Beginning in mid-July, Shapiro held a clear double-digit lead over Mastriano in polls and maintained the lead in the last weeks before the election. 

Pennsylvania is one of 36 states electing their top executive officials during the 2022 midterm elections. Before the election, there were 28 Republican governors and 22 Democratic governors. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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