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Cook Rates PA Attorney General Race as Likely Dem

According to the latest ratings from the election analysts at the Cook Political Report, Democrats have the advantage in Pennsylvania’s Attorney General’s race. 

Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s (D) 2020 reelection bid over Republican Heather Heidelbaugh, a former Allegheny County Councilwoman and Pittsburgh-area attorney, is rated as “Likely Democratic,” Louis Jacobson writes

Jacobson describes Shapiro, who was elected in 2016 to the statewide office, as a “rising star in the state,” and also points to his fundraising advantage over Heidelbaugh as well, although he adds that Republicans are “enthusiastic” about their nominee as well. 

“Shapiro, currently in his first term, is considered a rising star in the state,” Jacobson writes. “He leads Republican Heather Heidelbaugh by a wide margin in fundraising, although Republicans are enthusiastic about her candidacy.”

In continuing his explanation for the race being “likely Democratic,” Jacobson references Shapiro’s vote total in 2016 and believes that Democrats are “seemingly in a better position in the 2020 presidential race,” as well. 

“In winning the office in 2016, Shapiro outperformed fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton as she was losing the state; with Democrats seemingly in a better position in the 2020 presidential race, Shapiro is favored to win another term,” Jacobson writes. 

Shapiro bested Republican John Rafferty by over 2.5 points for the open seat in 2016. 

For the 2020 bid, both Heidelbaugh and Shapiro ran unopposed in their party’s primary. 

The latest Cook report ratings for Attorney General race’s from across the nation can be found here.

7 Responses

  1. These comments evince a natural skepticism of politicians which appears not to be warranted, either regarding Josh or his prior opponent [John]; assuming Mike Vereb is still his press secretary, these queries should be answerable [sex e-mails, etc.].

    Having known him for more than a decade [and, as a Republican, have disagreed with everything he has said/done politically starting with his BHO endorsement @ Glenside], it is apt to consider him to be a “rising star” because it’s inappropriate to perceive a putative gubernatorial race as an endpoint.

    Note, for example, how he handled the child molestation cases; he received national attention due to scrupulousness that was impermeable to critique.

  2. Can a statewide elected official be considered a “rising star”? Hasn’t his star already risen?

  3. Josh Shapiro will get my vote when he is independent enough to publicly release the list of guys on the porn email list sought by former AG Kathleen Kane. She broke the law trying to get it, but her intentions were good. Then the good old boys tripped her up, while they broke the law. Does Josh have what it takes to legally finish what KK started?

  4. Atty Gen Shapiro stands out because he is independent and doesn’t play the typical political games. He has proven his independence and without question is a rising star. He stands out in Harrisburg which is a go along kind of place.

    1. He also stands out for getting $25,000 contribution from the Philly FOP which is fighting police reforms… and he got $23,500 from them in 2019 and additional $15,900 of in-kind contribution.

      Josh is a “rising star” because he’s shameless self-promoter who puts his political ambitions ahead of the voters. Josh ran for reelection to 4 year term as Montco commissioner, while not-so-secretly running for AG, and refusing to admit it publicly. He started his “official” AG campaign within weeks of being sworn in for Montco.

      It’s more than obvious that Josh intends to run for Gov in 2022, and has zero interest in serving his full 4 year term. The voters should demand that Josh publicly obligate himself to serve the full term and not run for any other office that conflicts with that.

      Try asking him a direct question about making such a pledge and watch him waffle and weasel his away to avoid the question.

      1. Rare when I whole heartedly agree with DD, but Shapiro has turned out to be a unique kind of jerk. From kissing McNesby’s butt every chance he gets, to his rediculous overzealous prosecutions of the hazing at Penn State and the Amtrak engineer, he’s drunk with power. I might even vote Republican as a protest vote, and anyone who knows me would know how much Shapiro must suck for me to consider that.

        1. This isn’t persuasive; let’s parse.

          “From kissing McNesby’s butt every chance he gets, to his rediculous overzealous prosecutions of the hazing at Penn State and the Amtrak engineer, he’s drunk with power.”


          “From kissing McNesby’s butt every chance he gets”

          if whatever is perceived isn’t problematic, who cares?

          “to his rediculous overzealous prosecutions”


          “prosecution of the hazing at Penn State”

          most people would consider this to be apt, noting pattern of excess

          “prosecution of the Amtrak engineer”

          certainly indicated for speeding, no matter the alleged distraction

          “, he’s drunk with power.”

          it would appear he’s “in his zone” although certainly eager to note how his opponent will critique his performance.

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