(The Center Square) – Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, won reelection last week even as Republicans swept other statewide offices and congressional races on the ticket.
In fact, Shapiro – a former state lawmaker from Montgomery County who earned a reputation for his ability to reach across the aisle – earned the most votes of any Democrat running in Pennsylvania this cycle, including President-elect Joe Biden himself, with 3,367,974 tallied to his name as of Monday.
“It is the honor of my life to serve as your Attorney General,” Shapiro said via Twitter on Friday after The Associated Press called the race in his favor. “I’m grateful and ready to keep taking on the big fights as the people’s AG.”
Shapiro defeated Republican challenger Heather Heidelbaugh by 4 points, the only Democrat up for election to statewide office to win, so far. GOP candidate for Auditor General, Timothy DeFoor, will be the first Republican in two decades to hold the office, while Stacy Garrity remains one point ahead of sitting Democratic State Treasurer Joe Torsella.
Meanwhile, incumbent congressional Republicans considered most vulnerable, Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick and Scott Perry among them, triumphed in their races by comfortable margins of 13 points and 9 points, respectively. Democratic incumbent Reps. Connor Lamb and Susan Wild staved off Republican challengers in close 3-point races.
Shapiro defeated Republican challenger Heather Heidelbaugh by 4 points, the only Democrat up for election to statewide office to win, so far.
“I ran as the people’s AG, on my record of taking on the big fights and standing up to the most powerful,” Shapiro told the AP. “And I’m grateful that the people of Pennsylvania have given me the opportunity to keep working for them and having their backs.”
During his first term, Shapiro joined a lawsuit against ITT Technical Institute that netted a $5 million settlement for Pennsylvania students, released an extensive grand jury report that illuminated claims of sexual abuse against more than 1,000 children within the Catholic Church and another that purported links to air and water contamination and natural gas drilling operations.
He’s also gained notoriety for opposing President Donald Trump’s 2017 travel against seven countries in the Middle East and Africa and filing suit to uphold contraceptive access under the Affordable Care Act. Last year, he joined Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in support of legalizing recreational cannabis.
And there’s no rest in sight as the Trump campaign mounts legal challenges across the country over alleged voter fraud. Shapiro defended the vote counting process and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar against claims from legislative Republicans that the latter weaponized her office to cause confusion with conflicting guidance to counties on Election Day.
In a statement to the Supreme Court submitted last week, Shapiro said all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties indicated they understood and would follow the secretary’s guidance, including segregating absentee ballots received after Nov. 3.
“Our poll workers, volunteers, and public servants in communities across the Commonwealth have worked hard to protect and count these votes,” Shapiro said on Election Day. “As the People’s Lawyer, I’m committed to making sure they can do their work and that the will of the people will be respected. We must count every vote.”
Christen Smith follows Pennsylvania’s General Assembly for The Center Square. She is an award-winning reporter with more than a decade of experience covering state and national policy issues for niche publications and local newsrooms alike.
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