Former Bush DHS head backs Democrat Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania governor’s race

Associated Press

Republican former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has endorsed Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) in the state’s gubernatorial race against state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R).

“Right now, we all have a responsibility to support candidates of whichever party who will stand up and defend our democracy. Although I am a long-standing Republican, I am deeply troubled by Doug Mastriano’s embrace of dangerous extremism,” Chertoff said in a statement shared by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Chertoff told The Hill in an email that Shapiro “stands up for our Constitution and the rule of law, in contrast to his opponent who embraces bogus election fraud claims and extremist  political views that would undermine our democracy.” 

The Hill has reached out to Shapiro’s campaign for more information.

Chertoff, who was head of the Department of Homeland Security under former President George W. Bush, joins a number of former GOP officials who have crossed party lines to endorse Shapiro.

The Tuesday announcement of Chertoff’s support for Shapiro came alongside endorsements from a handful of former state lawmakers, a former district attorney and a Monday op-ed in Philadelphia Magazine by former Trump White House associate counsel James Schultz. 

“Even though Donald Trump, my former boss, endorsed Doug Mastriano for governor, Pennsylvanians would be unwise to support someone who threatens democracy the way the Republican gubernatorial nominee does,” Schultz wrote in the piece.

A group of former Pennsylvania Republican officials, including former Rep. Charlie Dent, endorsed Shapiro over their own party’s nominee in July.

Dent called Mastriano “an extremist who is a threat to the rule of law and the constitutional order.”

The Trump-backed Mastriano has trailed a few points behind the Democrat in recent polling

But eight of nine GOP Pennsylvania congressmen jointly endorsed Mastriano earlier this month, calling the Republican “a better option and alternative” to Shapiro. 

Trump is expected to visit Pennsylvania in early September to campaign for Mastriano and Senate candidate Mehmet Oz (R).

The former president lost the swing state to President Biden in the 2020 election — after winning it in 2016 over then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Tags Donald Trump Doug Mastriano George W. Bush gubernatorial race Josh Shapiro Josh Shapiro Michael Chertoff Pennsylvania Pennsylvania gubernatorial

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