HARRISBURG, Pa. (Erie News Now) – The spring primary election is just one month away. Many candidates for some of the highest offices in Pennsylvania are ramping up their efforts in the final weeks of campaigning to be their party’s candidate this November.
In the race for Pennsylvania governor, Republican voters can expect ten names on their primary ballot. However, Democratic voters can expect a much smaller list of candidates to choose from, just one to be exact.
That one candidate is no stranger to public service: Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, Josh Shapiro.
“I’ve always been committed to public service; I think it was really instilled in me, in my home as a young boy,” said Shapiro.
Prior to being elected Attorney General in 2016, Shapiro served as Chairman of the Montgomery County Commissioners and is also a former State Representative. Now he’s the lone Democrat running for governor of Pennsylvania.
“I’m an executive who knows how to get things done,” said Shapiro.
Shapiro says he brings a lot to the table with his decades of public service, especially from his time as Attorney General.
“I’m not afraid to take on anyone. We take on big fights and we deliver real results,” said Shapiro.
Perhaps his largest fight: uncovering abuse in the Roman Catholic Church and exposing predator priests.
“We exposed the horrible truth of what was going on within the Roman Catholic Church over many years. There were 301 predator priests who abused thousands of children here in Pennsylvania in a conspiracy and cover up that went from dioceses in the Commonwealth all the way to the Vatican,” said Shapiro.
Although progress has been made, Shapiro says the fight for justice is not over.
“Lawmakers have not given those who have been abused the opportunity to confront their abuser in court and be able to recover funds to pay for their mental health counseling,” said Shapiro.
If elected, he says providing a two-year window for victims of childhood sexual abuse to confront their abuser in court would be a top priority.
“We will get this passed and these victims will finally get their due,” said Shapiro.
Fighting for fair funding of Pennsylvania’s schools is another priority for Shapiro.
“We need to make sure that we drive more dollars through what’s known as the fair funding formula,” said Shapiro. “There are too many schools in Pennsylvania that are being left behind- rural and urban,” he added.
Shapiro believes it’s important to expand options for students by enhancing and creating technical and vocational education options in each school district.
“I also think we need to invest more in developing a vocational and technical curriculum in each of our school districts to ensure that young people can meet their full potential, not some other course that someone has chosen for them,” said Shapiro. “There’s a lot of investment we need to make. We’re simply not investing enough in our schools today, and we’re not doing it in a smart way and in a wise way that actually meets the needs of students,” he added.
Recently, Shapiro outlined his plan for rising prices. Putting money back in the pockets of Pennsylvanians and economic growth are among the top on his list if elected. He says his plan would involve cutting taxes and wasteful spending, while taking advantage of unique opportunities Pennsylvania has to offer, like energy.
“I think we should be an ‘all of the above’ energy state,” said Shapiro.
Regardless of what party has control of the Legislature after this election cycle, Shapiro says he knows how to bring parties together and is prepared to do so if elected.
“You can count on me as someone who’s experienced in bringing people together and someone who believes that it’s critical that we bring people together to get things done,” said Shapiro. “I’m prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats alike to get things done. When the good people of Pennsylvania trust you in these jobs through electing you, they expect you to go to work. They don’t care if you’re working with someone of your own party or the other party,” he added.
This year’s primary election is on May 17.