Republican Doug Mastriano and Democrat Josh Shapiro face off for governor of Pennsylvania

Republican Doug Mastriano and Democrat Josh Shapiro face off for governor of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Governor, Josh Shapiro and Doug Mastriano 2x1
MediaNews Group/Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images; Insider
  • Democrat Josh Shapiro and Republican Doug Mastriano are running for Pennsylvania governor.

  • Mastriano, a state senator, sought to overturn the 2020 election in Pennsylvania.

  • Shapiro, Pennsylvania's attorney general, is painting Mastriano as an extremist.

Republican Doug Mastriano and Democrat Josh Shapiro are running in a consequential open race for governor of Pennsylvania.

Polls close in the state at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

 

Pennsylvania's gubernatorial candidates

Shapiro, Pennsylvania's current attorney general, easily cleared the field for the Democratic nomination and is running a campaign focused on the economy, abortion rights, and protecting democracy.

Mastriano, a Republican state senator first elected in 2019, narrowly emerged from a fractured field of Republican candidates for Pennsylvania governor in May.

Mastriano is perhaps best known for pushing the lie that the 2020 election was stolen and leading the efforts in Pennsylvania to overturn President Donald Trump's loss in the 2020 election in Pennsylvania.

His campaign organized transport to the protests over the election in Washington, DC, on January 6, which he also attended — but he did not enter the Capitol. Mastriano, as governor, would have the power to appoint Pennsylvania's chief election official.

Mastriano has also proposed instituting an abortion ban after six weeks of pregnancy in Pennsylvania, and he has rejected the notion of separation of church and state — part of an emerging political effort among Christian nationalists. 

In his ads, Shapiro has hammered Mastriano as an extremist, including highlighting his position on abortion and his ties to far-right and nationalist figures.

Mastriano has also deployed a novel campaign strategy of shunning the mainstream media for his interviews and from his campaign events. He has instead relied on social media and other far-right media platforms to campaign and broadcast his message.

Pennsylvania's voting history

Pennsylvania is a competitive swing state that backed Trump by 1.2 points in the 2016 presidential election. It flipped during the 2020 presidential election, backing Democrat Joe Biden by 1.2 points.

Incumbent Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who is stepping down because of term limits, defeated his GOP gubernatorial opponent Scott Wagner by 17 points in 2018, a Democratic wave year, and unseated GOP Gov. Tom Corbett by nearly 10 points in 2014, a Republican wave year.

The money race

Shapiro has vastly outraised and outspent Mastriano. According to the Associated Press, Shapiro has spent more than $44 million, and has $11 million still in the bank, while Mastriano has spent less than $3 million, and has $2.6 million left to spend, as of late September.

What experts say

The race between Mastriano and Shapiro is rated as "lean Democratic" by Inside Elections and "likely Democratic" by The Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Read the original article on Business Insider