Unions Help Fuel Democrat Shapiro's $10 Million Warchest in Run for Pa. Governor

Pennsylvania unions have donated $2 million to Attorney General Josh Shapiro so far in 2021. The Democrat from Montgomery County announced his candidacy for governor in 2022 earlier this month.

NBC Universal, Inc.

What to Know

  • Josh Shapiro is in his second term as Pennsylvania attorney general. He previously served as chairman of the Montgomery County commissioners' board and two terms in the state legislature.
  • Shapiro, who lives in Abington Township, announced the large campaign warchest in what is a show of strength as he heads toward the May 2022 primary.
  • His $10 million is the third largest for a gubernatorial candidate heading into an election year since 2006. His campaign did not release a full list of donors on Wednesday, but labor unions contributed at least $2 million this year, according to election report filings.

The Democratic candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, has just over $10 million on hand in his campaign account ahead of next year's election, his campaign said Wednesday.

Shapiro’s campaign finances have been a hot topic of speculation by insiders, given his reputation as a formidable fundraiser, and the disclosures come three months before the Jan. 31 deadline for gubernatorial campaigns to report year-end finances to the state.

Shapiro, considered the likely Democratic nominee to succeed Gov. Tom Wolf, has raised a little over $9 million this year, his campaign said. It began the year with $2.7 million in the bank, and has spent about $1.6 million, with no debts or loans, the campaign said.

The most a gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania has carried into an election year was $12.5 million by Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell in 2006. The most a gubernatorial candidate carried into an election year for an open seat was Wolf’s $11.8 million in 2014.

Wolf is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term.

Shapiro formally declared his candidacy last week, months after saying he expected to run. His record of winning two statewide elections to the attorney general's office and strong fundraising reputation has helped clear the Democratic field.

Meanwhile, the field of Republicans running for governor is double-digits deep in a campaign cycle that historically favors Republicans, with more candidates joining in and few leading party figures picking favorites.

Little detailed information is available on fundraising numbers in the Republican field, although one candidate, Dave White, who runs a large plumbing and HVAC firm in Delaware County, has said he will put $2 million of his own money into the race.

Shapiro's campaign declined to identify its donors, but other political action committee reports to the state during 2021 reveal that labor unions are the source of just over $2 million.

The leading donor was the Greater Pennsylvania Regional Council of Carpenters, with a $500,000 contribution.

Operating Engineers locals gave $275,000, the national American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees kicked in $250,000, and $200,000 came from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local in Pittsburgh.

The Steamfitters' local in Pittsburgh gave $150,000 while another $150,000 came from the Sheet Metal Workers’ eastern Pennsylvania local and its national union.

SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania and the Teamsters each contributed $100,000.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us