(The Hill) — A group of Pennsylvania Republicans threw their support behind Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s gubernatorial bid on Wednesday, going against their party’s gubernatorial nominee and state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R).
The list of Republicans supporting Shapiro includes eight former GOP officials and the sitting chairman of the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners, Morgan Boyd. The former Republican officials include former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), former state Rep. Jim Greenwood (R-Pa.), former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Sandra Schultz Newman, former Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Denny O’Brien (R ), former state Reps. Dave Steil and Lita Cohen, former Lt. Gov. Robert Jubelirer, and former Montgomery County GOP Chair Ken Davis.
The group of Republicans hailed Shapiro while attacking Mastriano as an extremist and threat to the rule of law.
“In the Legislature, Josh championed some of the strongest ethics reforms in Pennsylvania’s history, and as Attorney General, he’s continued to work with Republicans and Democrats alike to get things done,” O’Brien said in a statement. “That’s a stark contrast with his opponent, who continues to divide us and waste time and taxpayer money on his conspiracy theories and plans to upend Pennsylvania’s elections. We deserve a Governor who will bring people together, and that’s why I’m proud to endorse Josh Shapiro.”
In other statements, Dent called Mastriano “an extremist who is a threat to the rule of law and the constitutional order,” while Greenwood accused Mastriano of continuing “to fan the flames of division.”
The effort somewhat resembles past efforts from some Republicans to rally against former President Donald Trump, who has endorsed Mastriano.
The endorsements represent a direct hit against Mastriano, who has centered much of his campaign around the unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud in 2020. Despite an effort from some Pennsylvania Republicans to block him from the nomination, Matsriano defeated a crowded field of other GOP gubernatorial candidates, including former Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), in May. Mastriano’s campaign was given a boost from Trump’s endorsement ahead of Primary Day.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as “lean Democratic.”