The Pennsylvania gubernatorial race between main candidates Josh Shapiro and Doug Mastriano is one of the most followed in the country. The last presidential election showed that Pennsylvania, even though famously known as a swing state, was the state that decided Joe Biden’s election results. Pennsylvania has had two Republican and two Democratic governors in the past 20 years. Currently, democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro is leading by almost nine points.
The number one issue on the ballot is abortion. Mastriano, the far-right Trump-endorsed candidate, has stated “I want abortion to end, period.” He has been in the PA Senate since 2019. The Mastriano campaign website focuses on issues such as “The Right to Life, Illegal Immigration and Sanctuary Cities, Women’s Sports and The Second Amendment.” According to the New York Times, Mastriano has not had any presence on TV since May.
Josh Shapiro’s campaign focuses on issues such as “Abortion Rights, Black Economy Equity, Energy and the Environment and LGBTQ+ rights,” as mentioned on his website. Shapiro has served as the PA Attorney General since 2017.
The Triangle talked to Drexel students about their opinions on this race. The people interviewed are all women, under the age of 30. None of them are first-time voters.
“I am voting for Josh Shapiro. I feel like the Democratic party never produces a great candidate, but it’s a no-brainer when you look at their value systems and policy ideas. Although I don’t agree with some of his more conservative stances on policing and crime, Shapiro supports civil liberties and basic human rights,” said fourth-year Global Studies student McKenna Cole. “Growing up in the Midwest and in a religious community, inaccessibility to abortion is not an abstract idea. Abortion is something that has existed forever and the criminalization of it is rather new. I think banning abortion is just one aspect of a much bigger effort to further suppress the lower class.”
Connie Yoon is a senior music industry student. She was born and raised in a swing state in Pennsylvania. She lives in a primarily Republican area and is eager to vote in this upcoming election.
“I am mainly voting for Josh Shapiro because of his position on abortion laws. My area in general in my county is pretty red. I feel like Josh Shapiro does a good job of addressing how important it is for women’s rights to be protected. Doug Mastriano is an older candidate and he can be pretty out of touch,” said Yoon.
Ellie Herman is 22 years old. She is the President of the Drexel Women’s Empowerment Club. She has been voting in PA elections since she was 18. She thinks that voting will not create institutional change, but it’s a great start to being active citizens in our communities.
“With the overturning of Roe, we are now seeing an extremist conservative wave consuming the country and attacking the rights and autonomy of women and the LGBTQ+ community. If we lose this election to Mastriano, we know very well that he will work to ban abortion in Pennsylvania, which is not representative of the people in this state and what we truly support,” said Herman.
Makayla White is 28 years old. This is the first time she is voting in PA. She has been getting familiarized with the issues in the PA race and decided to vote here.
“As students and Gen Z are getting older, more have the ability to vote and shape future elections. Many candidates are supporting legislation for higher education, climate change and other major topics that directly affect students and Gen Z,” mentioned White. “Shapiro holds many similar ideals to my own in concerns to major issues such as inflation, gun laws, climate change and abortion rights.”
Drexel University will close at 2 p.m on Nov. 8 and faculty is encouraged to be flexible with students and classes.