Oct 13 (Reuters) – Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s Democratic attorney general and a high-profile critic of Republican former President Donald Trump and his false election fraud claims, on Wednesday formally entered the 2022 race for governor of the essential battleground state.
Shapiro, who has for months indicated he would doubtless run for the state’s high place, launched his first marketing campaign video on-line forward of a scheduled news convention with supporters in Pittsburgh at 11 a.m. ET.
The transfer makes Shapiro, 48, the early front-runner to change into the Democratic Party’s nominee. No one else has but launched a marketing campaign to interchange Democrat Tom Wolf, who’s constitutionally barred from working for a 3rd four-year time period.
The Republican area for the 2022 race at the moment numbers a half-dozen and is anticipated to develop, with most candidates jostling to safe Trump’s endorsement. Lou Barletta, 65, a former U.S. congressman, and former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain, 52, are amongst those that have already introduced campaigns.
Shapiro, a former state consultant and commissioner in Montgomery County simply outdoors Philadelphia, has lengthy been thought of a rising star within the occasion. He has made frequent appearances on cable TV exhibits criticizing Trump’s baseless claims of widespread electoral fraud within the presidential election in Pennsylvania, which Democrat Joe Biden received in 2020 by greater than 80,000 votes.
Pennsylvania is a battleground state, the place presidential elections can go both manner, and instructions a lot of the electoral votes wanted to win the White House.
In his marketing campaign video, Shapiro stated he had a report of “taking on the big and powerful” and accused Republicans working for governor of desirous to “undermine free and fair elections, strip away voting rights, and permanently divide us.”
Last month, Shapiro filed a lawsuit in state court docket in opposition to Republican state lawmakers in a bid to cease their effort to subpoena detailed private info on voters, together with partial Social Security numbers, as a part of their partisan evaluation of the 2020 election. That authorized dispute is constant.
Shapiro’s marketing campaign video additionally highlighted his work overseeing a grand jury investigation that in 2018 led to sexual abuse allegations in opposition to 300 Roman Catholic clergymen in six Pennsylvania dioceses.