Who is Josh Shapiro? Governor-elect of Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (WHTM) — On Tuesday, January 17, 2023, Pennsylvania’s new governor will be sworn in in Harrisburg.

After eight years of Tom Wolfe, Josh Shapiro will become Pennsylvania’s 48th governor. But who is the man who will become the most powerful politician in Pennsylvania?

Shapiro’s energy can seem limitless when there is a political stage or an open mic.

Shapiro, at 49, will be the youngest elected governor of Pennsylvania since 46-year-old Dick Thornburg.

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Shapiro may have the face of a baby, but he’s no kid in the world of politics.

Shapiro was the first newly elected student body president at the University of Rochester. While Shapiro was an employee of the Washington, D.C. Capitol, he was a Georgetown Law graduate and was on his way to Harrisburg.

Shapiro won a seat in the Pennsylvania State House in 2004. Many say he showed courage at a press conference calling for the caucus to try to step down amid the “bounty” scandal.

We need leaders who have the public’s trust. “Bill De Wiz doesn’t do that,” said Shapiro.

Shapiro also helped broker a backroom deal to make Philadelphia Republican Dennis O’Brien the speaker, making Shapiro deputy speaker of the House.

In 2011, Shapiro returned home to Montgomery County where he was elected to the Montgomery County Commissioners while the Democrats took control for the first time in the county’s history.

By 2016, Shapiro was running again, this time for Attorney General. Shapiro defeated Republican Senator John Rafferty after receiving 3.4 million votes, the most in Pennsylvania history.

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As Attorney General, Shapiro’s reporting on pedophilia by priests and a cover-up by the Catholic Church made international news.

Shapiro also facilitated a settlement between Highmark and UPMC, two healthcare giants that have been in a feud for years.

To add to his list of accomplishments as attorney general, Shapiro secured $1 billion for Pennsylvania in an opioid settlement.

Shapiro was re-elected in 2020, but was on the campaign trail again in 2021, this time for governor.

Shapiro again secured 3 million votes after defeating Republican Doug Mastriano by 14 percentage points.

Now in full governor status, Shapiro has appeared on Pennsylvania’s farm show, chosen a bipartisan council, and shown confidence he can overcome the partisan gridlock in Harrisburg that plagued previous administrations.

I will treat the leaders of both parties with respect, recognizing the important role they play in this process. “They will treat my administration with respect and we will work together to meet the big challenges,” said Shapiro.

The top Republican in the state house, Brian Cutler, is ready for what Shapiro calls a reset in the relationship.

“I think Governor-elect Shapiro has a distinct advantage over any of his predecessors, having come from the legislature. So he definitely understands the process, he understands the adjustments, he really understands what it takes to get a bill across the finish line,” Cutler said.

Critics, and they certainly have, bemoan Shapiro’s political ambitions, say he’s not above backroom deals or backstabbing, and expect him to run for president soon.

However, even Shapiro’s critics respect his devotion to his Jewish faith and family. Shapiro met his wife of 25 years in ninth grade at the Hebrew Academy. They have a daughter and three sons.

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For Penn State, it’s a new first family, and for Shapiro it’s a new job he can’t wait to get started.

“I want to be able to go on day one with a team that’s ready to go, that’s ready to get to yes whether on a bill or an economic development project or on a community initiative and get our government working again,” Shapiro said.

Tune in on abc27 on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, for the latest on Shapiro’s inauguration.