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Former GOP Congressman joins Republicans in endorsing Shapiro for governor

J. Scott Applewhite
AP, file

Longtime Lehigh Valley Congressman Charlie Dent has joined a group of Republican leaders across the state to endorse Democrat Josh Shapiro over GOP candidate Doug Mastriano for governor.

Dent joined eight other Republican lawmakers in supporting Shapiro.

The former representative, who served the Lehigh Valley in Congress and the state Legislature for nearly three decades, said he’s concerned that if Mastriano becomes governor, he may not support free and fair elections.

“I just don’t think he really respects our electoral system and he’s even suggested he might appoint some people to be Secretary of State who, in my view, might not be fair in administering elections in this state,” said Dent.

Dent noted that last year Mastriano was booted from a closed-door Republican caucus meetings and removed as head of a committee on election integrity. That access was restored after Mastriano became a candidate for the state’s top office.

“The governor’s got to be a person who is there to administer the law fairly and I don’t have that confidence in him,” Dent said. “And I do in Josh Shapiro, who always struck me as an honorable and decent fellow.”

Dent also took issue with Mastriano’s hard-line stance on ending abortion access with no exceptions for rape or incest.

“I do think we should respect a woman’s right to choose and he’s taken the most extreme position out there with virtually no exceptions, and I think that would be very problematic on many levels,” said Dent.

Other Republican leaders endorsing Josh Shapiro for governor include former Bucks County Congressman Jim Greenwood, former state Supreme Court Justice Sandra Schultz Newman, former Speaker of the House Denny O’Brien and, former Lt. Gov. Bob Jubelirer.

They are joined by former state Reps. Dave Steil and Lita Cohen, along with Morgan Boyd, chairman of the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners, and Ken Davis, former chairman of the Montgomery County GOP.