https://www.theepochtimes.com/shapiro-focuses-on-education-public-safety-and-the-economy-in-bid-for-pennsylvania-governorship_4842453.html

Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s attorney general and Democrat gubernatorial candidate is spending the final days on the campaign trail on a bus tour hitting multiple cities each day.

Speaking to a crowd of around 200 supporters in Lancaster, Shapiro highlighted his plan to provide more opportunities for future generations.

“I worry, moms and dads, that we brought our children into this world at a time where … just maybe … they have fewer opportunities than the world I was blessed to be born into 49 years ago,” Shapiro said.

He addressed education, public safety, and the economy.

“Opportunity begins in our public school classrooms,” said Shapiro, who sends his four children to private school.

Pennsylvania attorney general and Democrat candidate for governor, Josh Shapiro speaks in Lancaster, Pa. on Nov. 4, 2022, as part of a final effort to get out the vote before election day, Nov. 8, 2022. (Beth Brelje/The Epoch Times)

“When I am your governor, we will fully fund public education. We will make our schools opportunities zones for our kids. Let’s do away with our reliance on standardized testing.

“And let’s bring vo-tech [vocational-technical] back to our classrooms and show our kids the opportunity to build a skill-set to go out and succeed in this economy.”

The left-leaning Pennsylvania State Education Association has given Shapiro $400,000 through its political action committee.

“We need to be sure that our children not only have the best and well-paid teachers around, and the books and computers they need to be successful,” Shapiro said.

“Let’s also make sure that our children can walk down the hall and find a mental health counselor in every single school building. Our kids are struggling, and they need help right now.”

He believes children should be able to walk to school without confronting crime, so Shapiro vowed to hire more police.

“We’ll make sure that they are from our community and that they look like us, they’re properly trained, and they work together with our neighbors to make our community safer,” Shapiro said.

Epoch Times Photo
Pennsylvania attorney general and Democrat candidate for governor, Josh Shapiro campaigns in Lancaster on Nov. 4, 2022. (Beth Brelje/The Epoch Times)

He talked about creating an economy that would lift everyone, raise wages and create opportunities.

“We’re going to work together to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour,” Shapiro said.

“We’re going to invest in union apprenticeship programs because we know that when you go through a union apprenticeship program, you’re going to earn 30 percent more wages over your lifetime.”

Shapiro envisioned making more people eligible to work for state government.

“On day one, I will sign an executive order doing away with the college degree requirements for thousands of state government jobs,” Shapiro said.

He said he had been tough on drug dealers.

“As attorney general, we’ve arrested 8,200 drug dealers for bringing poisons into Lancaster County and all across this commonwealth,” Shapiro said.

Epoch Times Photo
Dog with political stickers at Lancaster, Pa., rally for Democrat candidate for governor, Josh Shapiro, Nov. 4, 2022. (Beth Brelje/The Epoch Times)

“This crisis, which claims the lives of 14 Pennsylvanians every single day, didn’t start on Pennsylvania street corners. It started in pharmaceutical company boardrooms, where those executives demonstrated a greed that’s claiming lives today.

“So we took them to court and won, and took a billion dollars back to Pennsylvania for drug addiction disease.”

He stressed that addiction was an illness, not a crime.

Shapiro used a portion of his speech to attack his opponent, Republican Doug Mastriano, a retired Army Colonel.

“This guy loves to talk a good game about freedom all the time,” Shapiro said. “It’s not freedom to tell women what they’re allowed to do with their bodies. That’s not freedom. It’s not freedom to tell our school children, what books they’re allowed to read.”

Mastriano is pro-life and, as a state senator, worked to remove books that graphically depict sex acts from school libraries.

Shapiro, who is being sued by a private Pennsylvania citizen for defamation for allegedly untrue things he said about her in political ads, told the Lancaster crowd that Mastriano wanted to take away their votes, charge women who have had abortions with murder, and ensure people who work can never join a union. They believe him.

Epoch Times Photo
Supporters take yard signs at Lancaster, Pa. rally for Democrat candidate for governor, Josh Shapiro, Nov. 4, 2022. (Beth Brelje/The Epoch Times)

Democrat voters Perspective

The Epoch Times asked attendees why they support Shapiro. A number refused to give their names.

One woman feared far-right voters might see her name and that she would be in danger because she believed the right is radicalizing.

She supported Shapiro because he would protect a woman’s access to healthcare, adding that abortion was healthcare.

Lexx Smith of Berks County said Shapiro’s values and beliefs aligned with everything she believed, and she appreciated that Shapiro was speaking to young people on TikTok, where he was sometimes amusing, she said.

“I like his stand on women’s rights,” a senior woman, who would not give her name, said.

“Josh Shapiro doesn’t seem to be beholden to anyone.”

Epoch Times Photo
At Democrat Josh Shapiro’s Pennsylvania bus stops, supporters are invited to write well wishes on his campaign bus. Someone added support for his opponent Doug Mastriano. (Beth Brelje/The Epoch Times)

James Minder of Lancaster County said he supported Shapiro because the candidate was a Democrat.

“That’s how I vote, straight Democrat,” Minder told The Epoch Times, “And I can’t understand why anyone would vote different.”

Another woman who would not share her name said she liked Shapiro because he was pro-education, pro-abortion, pro-healthcare and pro-election integrity.

She explained that in the 2020 election, as attorney general, Shapiro had a hand in certifying the election, whereas Mastriano was an election denier, she said.

Shapiro ended by telling supporters that while his name was on the ballot, their rights and future were on the line.

He encouraged them to take yard signs, and tell friends to vote for him.

After the rally, supporters were given Sharpie markers to write encouragements on Shapiro’s bus, which already had countless signatures, and well wishes from around the state, including at least one, that said, “Doug 4 Gov,” in support of Mastriano.

Beth Brelje

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Beth Brelje is a national, investigative journalist covering politics, wrongdoing, and the stories of everyday people facing extraordinary circumstances. Send her your story ideas: Beth.brelje@epochtimes.us

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