Josh Shapiro, Democrats’ Breakout Star, Is Running As A Pro-Police Crime Fighter

by | Oct 25, 2022 | Politics

PHILADELPHIA ― Pennsylvania Republicans have seized on an uptick in crime in Philadelphia to attack Democrats.It’s an issue on which the GOP has an advantage in polls, and many Democrats would sooner not discuss it.Advertisement“Crime in Pennsylvania is a real vulnerability for Democrats across the board,” said a national Republican strategist, who requested anonymity to speak freely.But Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for governor of Pennsylvania, leans into his credentials as a crime fighter on the campaign trail and advocates for hiring more cops.“When I’m governor, we’re going to hire more police for our community, but hang on ― because people both have a right to be safe and feel safe in our community,” the state attorney general told supporters in a speech Oct. 8 at the opening of a campaign office in West Philadelphia. “Being safe” is Shapiro’s shorthand for using law enforcement to reduce crime. “Feeling safe” is how he describes the complementary need for residents, especially Black residents, to have confidence that they will not suffer violence at the hands of the very police officers sworn to protect them.Advertisement“We’re going to see police that are from the community, that are properly trained, that work hand in hand with our community groups to keep us safe, and that understand they’ve got to get out of their patrol cars, walk the beat, learn the names of our children and talk to the people who really run the neighborhood,” he continued, eliciting cries of affirmation from the predominantly Black crowd. “You know who that is: The grandmas on their porches. They run the neighborhoods, and we’ve got to make sure we build safe communities by working together.”For Democrats in an election cycle when they stand a good chance of losing both the U.S. House and the Senate and are struggling to hold governorships in states as blue as Oregon, Shapiro’s candidacy is a rare bright spot.“He inspires people.”- Jack Stollsteimer, Delaware County district attorneyHis lead over Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano frequently surpasses 10 percentage points in public polls. National Republicans, cowed by Shapiro’s massive fundraising edge over Mastriano, have effectively forfeited the race.Coverage of the race has understandably focused on Mastriano, a Christian nationalist and participant in the election-denying rally that preceded the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. His hardline right-wing views, comments and associations ― he has sought to organize grassroots support on the Gab platform, a hub for white nationalists ― would make him a useful foil for any Democrat. Pennsylvania’s retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R) has declined to endorse Mastriano, even as he has heartily backed Republican Mehmet Oz to succeed him in the Senate.AdvertisementBut Shapiro’s strengths are equally notable: a record of outperforming other Democrats, a talent for public speaking and, perhaps most important, an ability to turn the issue of public safety …

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