Group of GOP officials jump ship to support Democratic official Josh Shapiro for PA governor
A group of Republicans in Pennsylvania is breaking with hyperpartisanship and endorcing sitting Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro's (D) run for governor. According to The Post-Gazette, many GOP officials are speaking publicly to share their opinions of Shapiro.
Morgan Boyd, the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners chair, insisted Shapiro is "the only candidate with a vision, the experience, and the plan to bring" back the state of Pennsylvania.
“I think there’s actually a large number of moderate Republicans across the state right now who are considering either openly supporting Josh or silently supporting him through their vote,” Mr. Boyd said. “I would encourage them to use their experiences to search within their hearts and make the determination themselves that they feel is best for the commonwealth. I think that, by and large, they’ll come to the same conclusion that I did.”
Christopher Borick, who serves as director of Muhlenberg College's Institute of Public Opinion, also weighed in on Shapiro as he admitted how difficult it is to jump party lines.
“I think for most Republicans, they accept [Doug] Mastriano as their nominee and most likely will vote for him,” Mr. Borick said. “But on the margins — and the margins are going to be very important — I think the endorsements will help Shapiro’s case in key areas.”
Borick added that the list of Republicans supporting represents the “'bedrock' of the Pennsylvania Republican Party in recent years."
Borick also revealed what he expects from Mastriano, Shapiro's opponent. According to Borick, Mastriano and his far-right allies may "counter that these GOP officials are RINOs — Republicans In Name Only — who don’t speak for the movement right now and that voters should discount their voices because they’re not truly Republicans."
In fact, Mastriano recently shared his views during a live stream on Facebook last week. “It’s time to try something different. It’s time for Republican Gov. Doug Mastriano to have your back, and we’ll have your back,” Mr. Mastriano said. “We’ll honor and respect your freedoms, lift this state up and bring freedom back.”
However, Republicans in favor of Shapiro are not backing down. Sen. Robert Jubelirer, former Pennsylvania lieutenant governor who has also been an influential figure in Republican presidential campaigns in the 1980s and ‘90s, has also echoed support of Shapiro. “Whatever he does, he’s going to do well,” Mr. Jubelirer said. “He will not play the political game.”
“He’s talking about investments in housing. He’s talking about investments in infrastructure. He’s talking about investments in workforce development,” Boyd also said. “All of this is so incredibly needed in our rural communities, and even more than that, he has an overarching strategy on how to build Pennsylvania’s economy and how to reverse the decades of decline that we’ve seen all across the state.”
The Republican endorsements of Shapiro come as the Democratic gubernatorial hopeful rolled out his list of Republicans he supports. Shapiro's public endorsement of Republicans is "part of a continued effort to label his candidacy a reach-across-the-aisle aficionado who will unify the parties to get things done."