Shapiro, Davis Bring PA Governor, Lt. Governor Campaign to Clarion County
(Pictured above: Josh Shapiro, PA Attorney General and candidate for governor, and Austin Davis, endorsed candidate for lieutenant governor, visited Clarion on Wednesday afternoon at Clarion River Brewing.)
Current Pennsylvania Attorney General and candidate for governor Josh Shapiro on the Democratic ticket in the primary returned to a packed rally on Wednesday afternoon at the Clarion River Brewing Company on Main Street in Clarion.
He told the crowd he remembered his first visit to Clarion about eight years ago at the American Legion, also on Main Street.
“I wasn’t really running for anything at that time, but I remember it was a Democratic dinner, and I learned so much that night about Pennsylvania from listening to all of you,” Shapiro said. “You all welcomed me, just a county commissioner from Montgomery County.
“That taught me a lot, and I listened. and I learned, and I worked my tail off to be a good attorney general for all of you. I’m sure looking forward to being your next governor.”
Austin Davis, the endorsed candidate for lieutenant governor, talked first at the Wednesday afternoon meeting.
“My parents worked extremely hard so that my sister and I had every opportunity to succeed,” Davis said. “That allowed me to become a first-generation college graduate in my family and eventually become the first African-American to win a state legislative district in Western Pennsylvania, and outside of anywhere but the city of Pittsburgh, the 35th District.
“I’m thrilled to come from a working-class background. And, that’s why I went to Harrisburg to fight for nearly five years ago as a state representative. I’m going back to fight for working-class families as your next lieutenant governor because my family’s dealt with some of the same struggles that many of your families deal with such as rising healthcare costs and how you’re going to make ends meet and pay the bills.”
“I’m here to ask each and every one of you to join us on this journey because we can change the direction of our Commonwealth, and we can make a Commonwealth that works for everyone. And, it’s my pleasure to introduce to you the next governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, my friend, Josh Shapiro.
Shapiro speaks to crowd
“I’ve learned the power of listening, and when you travel across this Commonwealth, I’ve been blessed to do really listen. Yeah, you’re worried. They’re worried, often talking about the rising costs.
“Lori and I see this with our four kids. They worry about the mental health of their children. They’re worried that their rural hospital is going to shut down, and they simply won’t have a place to go. If they have an emergency, they’re worried about where they’re going to fit into this changing economy, whether or not there’s going to be a place for them in our system, seniors who have put money away for years and years and years worrying. If they’re still going to be able to retire with that dignity and respect.”
“I listened to you, and as governor, I am prepared to make the critical investments we need to make. So, we’re going to improve our schools. We’re going to save communities. We’re going to have an economy that lifts everybody up. You know what else we’re going to do? I don’t know how to put this on a bumper sticker yet, but we’re going to make sure folks don’t get screwed.”
Shapiro said they are also worried about their freedoms, and they’re worried that so much of what they have fought for is being taken away from them, from the right to vote to freedom of choice over their own body.
Working with the legislature
Shapiro has some creative ideas and ambitious goals, but he was asked how he would work with a Republican legislature that was, at times, hostile to Governor Tom Wolf.
“I think if you look at my track record, I am someone who has a long track record and reputation of working with Democrats and Republicans to get things done by building a coalition, to solve pressing problems. I did it when I was county commissioner, working with the Republicans and the Democrats to have the lowest taxes in the region, earned our AAA bond rating back, and actually cut spending when I was county commissioner.
“As Attorney General, take a look at what I did, for example, with Highmark and UPMC, maybe not political, but I was able to deal with something that governors and agencies tried to deal with for 10 years. We brought them together, got a deal done, and protected access to healthcare for two million Western Pennsylvania. So, for me, it’s all about building coalitions to get things done, and I’ve got a track record of doing that.
No defunding police
“There will be no defunding of police.
“We’re going to invest in police. Okay. I have been opposed to defunding the police from the first day. I have been calling for more funding for police. In fact, we did an audit and showed that we are short 1,229 municipal police officers in Pennsylvania. More state troopers are needed to assist municipalities. We need to invest in hiring more police.
“I am totally opposed to the tolling of the local I-80 bridge and the others.
“I don’t think this is a time where we should be taking more money out of the pockets of motorists in Pennsylvania. In fact, I put forth a plan to put money back in voters’ pockets in the form of a $250 gas tax rebate that would go to them for every car that they own or lease. I think now we’ve got to ease the costs on families, not increase the cost.”
Thoughts on Polk
“I didn’t have anything to do with that decision and was obviously made by the governor. I think what’s important is that we’ll have a chance to review that, and I’ll review it with local folks, Republicans and Democrats alike. We’ve got to come together and make sure we’re making the right decision.
“There is only one governor at a time and when I am governor, I would get everyone together, and make sure we’re having honest conversations. We’re hearing all different views on this and not just have it be dictated to this community, but work with them.
“You don’t have to convince me. I’m saying we have one governor at a time, and he made the decision and certainly, that’ll be one of my top issues.
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