Democratic candidate and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro convincingly won his gubernatorial race against retired army colonel and State Senator Doug Mastriano, garnering 56% of the vote as of 10:45 p.m. ET.
Mastriano had been dogged by accusations of anti-Semitism based on his association with the social media platform Gab, which allows anti-Semitic content. In mid-July, liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America reported that Mastriano’s campaign paid $5,000 to Gab, which was frequented by Tree of Life synagogue shooter Robert Bowers before he committed the massacre that killed 11 congregants and injured several others in the bloodiest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.
Mastriano, who has stated that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump and was endorsed by Trump, called himself a Christian Nationalist. Throughout the race, he denied that he was anti-Semitic but called out Shapiro, an observant Jew, for not being observant enough.
Carol Kanterman, 76, of Pittsburgh, a retired saleswoman and a Republican, told JNS before the election that she does not trust Mastriano. Although she appreciated that he distanced himself from Gab and Torba, she thought his words were not strong enough.
She said, “I think he should have come out more strongly and said, ‘I gave the money, but now that I know what that site contains, I’m never giving to that site again. I’m not anti-Semitic and I want nothing to do with that site.’”
Andrea Chester, 72, a Democrat who lives in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood, which was the site of the Tree of Life massacre, also said she was voting for Shapiro.
“The vast majority of Jewish people here will vote for Shapiro,” said Chester, a writing instructor at Community College of Allegheny County who is active in supporting pro-Israel causes. “Hundreds of Jewish people in the area, including even Jewish conservatives, are wary of Mastriano.”