Josh Shapiro wins Pennsylvania governor race in blow to Trump

Doug Mastriano, extremist Republican candidate whose hardline positions failed to gain ground, was a favorite of the ex-president

Josh Shapiro will be the next governor of Pennsylvania, in a triumph for Democrats and a blow for Donald Trump, who had endorsed and heavily promoted Doug Mastriano, Shapiro’s extremist Republican opponent.

The Associated Press pronounced Shapiro the winner over Mastriano, a far-right Republican candidate whose campaign of hardline positions and culture-war stances had failed to take off in the state.

Shapiro had long held a comfortable lead over Mastriano in the polls, with the Republican’s election conspiracy theories and rightwing positions on social issues struggling to attract both funding and voters alike.

Mastriano appeared at a rally with Trump on Saturday – Shapiro had an event with Barack Obama and Joe Biden the same day – but even the flamboyant one-term former president’s personal appearance couldn’t turn around his fortunes.

The win should come as a relief to democracy activists. Pennsylvania’s governor appoints the person who certifies – or doesn’t – the state’s election results, and Mastriano previously tried to reject the certification of Pennsylvania’s 2020 vote, citing baseless accusations of fraud.

As a state senator in Pennsylvania, Mastriano had said women who violated a proposed six-week abortion ban should be charged with murder. He has repeatedly attacked trans people, and said gay marriage should be illegal, and that same-sex couples should not be allowed to adopt children.

Shapiro, the Pennsylvania attorney general, will replace the Democrat Tom Wolf, who has served two terms as governor, the maximum allowed under state law.


Adam Gabbatt in Pittsburgh

The GuardianTramp

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