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Last updated Dec. 12, 2021
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania politicos are preparing for an intense 2022 election, with open seats for U.S. Senate and governor on the November ballot. The field is still taking shape, but it’s already clear there’s a lot at stake — both races are currently categorized by the Cook Political Report as toss-ups.
The race for governor may get less national attention, but the outcome will determine the balance of power in Harrisburg and could radically shape policies on everything from abortion to voting rights in the years to come. Here’s what we know about the candidates so far.
It’s looking more and more likely this will be a field of one.
After months of speculation, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced his candidacy in mid-October.
I'm running to be Pennsylvania's next Governor.— Josh Shapiro (@JoshShapiroPA) October 13, 2021
The stakes are too high to sit on the sidelines. It's time we all get in the game and fight for our rights, our democracy, our Commonwealth.
This will be one of the closest races in the country — and I need you on my team. Watch: pic.twitter.com/OOERcQ9m2F
There are a lot of names in the mix on the Republican side.
Among those who have declared their candidacy: Lou Barletta, a former member of Congress who first rose to national prominence because of his anti-immigration policies as mayor of Hazleton; former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain; Jake Corman, president pro tempore of the state Senate; and state Sen. Scott Martin of Lancaster County.
The other declared GOP candidates are:
Guy Ciarrocchi, president and CEO Chester County Chamber of Commerce | Website
Joe Gale, Montgomery County commissioner | Website
Charlie Gerow, Republican strategist | Website
Melissa Hart, a former U.S. representative from Western Pennsylvania | Twitter
Jason Monn, restaurant owner and former Corry City Council member | Website
Jason Richey, attorney | Website
John Ventre, retired UPS security and public affairs executive | Website
Dave White, former Delaware County Councilman | Website
Nche Zama, cardiothoracic surgeon | Website
Several other Republicans are publicly considering a run.
State Sen. Doug Mastriano, a right-wing lawmaker who hosted a hearing devoted to unfounded claims of 2020 election fraud and marched to the U.S. Capitol before the Jan. 6 insurrection, claimed former President Donald Trump asked him to run and promised to help him campaign. (An aide says Trump “has not made any endorsement or commitments yet.”)
In early November, Mastriano announced he had established an exploratory committee.
U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, of Western Pennsylvania, also believes his relationship with Trump could be an asset should he run for governor. Former state House Speaker Mike Turzai is also considering entering the race.
Another member of the state’s congressional delegation, Dan Meuser of Luzerne County, considered a run but ultimately decided against it. Senator Dan Laughlin of Erie County has also decided not to run.
So far, two people who aren’t members of a major party have declared their intention to run:
Libertarian Party: Joe Soloski, public accountant | Website
Green Party: Christina Olson, artist, co-chair of Green Party of Pennsylvania, owner of Lehigh Valley Ladders | Twitter
Independent: Eddie Wenrich, filmmaker | Twitter
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