HARRISBURG, Pa. (Erie News Now) – Thursday night, the Democratic nominees for Pennsylvania governor and lieutenant governor were in Harrisburg, encouraging supporters to “Get Out The Vote.”
Attorney General Josh Shapiro and State Representative Austin Davis (D-Allegheny) arrived in Harrisburg around 6 p.m. to be greeted by hundreds of their supporters, many who waited in line well before the candidates’ much-anticipated arrival.
Their visit to Harrisburg comes just five days ahead of the Nov 8 general election and was the final stop of the day after previous ones in Williamsport, Bloomsburg and Pottsville before arriving to Broad Street Market in Harrisburg.
Their “Big Fights Bus Tour,” which kicked off in Erie on Tuesday and runs through Sunday, is hosting 25 total events in 21 counties with the goal of mobilizing voters across Pennsylvania.
Shapiro energized the large crowd, comprised of over 500 supporters according to campaign officials, as he addressed several priorities, like education, the economy and energy.
“When I’m governor, we’ll do away with our reliance on standardized testing, and we will bring vocational, technical and computer training back into our high school classrooms,” said Shapiro, who also discussed improving academic and mental well-being of Pennsylvania school students. “I’m going to put a mental health counselor in every single school district across our Commonwealth,” he added.
“I’ll be an all of the above energy governor- protecting the boilermakers’ jobs of today, and creating tens of thousands of green energy jobs of tomorrow,” said Shapiro.
The state’s top law enforcement official said public safety, including keeping children safe on their way to and from school, is paramount.
“We’re going to hire more police officers when I’m governor, but we’re going to make sure they are properly trained from the communities they are sworn to serve and protect and look like the people they are interacting with every day,” said Shapiro.
Shapiro’s running mate, State Representative Austin Davis, would make history as Pennsylvania’s first black lieutenant governor. Davis attributes his career in public service and a drive to make a difference to his experiences with gun violence growing up.
“Nobody was tackling the issue of gun violence, and nobody serving in city government looked like me. I believe representation matters. And I believe that the people closest to the pain should be closest to the power,” said Davis.
Shapiro also spoke about the fights he took on as Attorney General, most notably against the Catholic Church and opioid distributors and manufacturers, but says he’s not finished yet.
“We’ve taken on a whole lot of big fights, but I want you to know I got another big fight in me, and it comes in five days when we defeat Doug Mastriano in this election,” said Shapiro.
Today’s polling average from FiveThirtyEight shows Shapiro with an 11-point lead over his Republican opponent Doug Mastriano.