Elections Live Updates: Race Calls and Latest News

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Katie Glueck

Credit…Kriston Jae Bethel for The New York Times

Josh Shapiro, a Democrat and Pennsylvania’s attorney general, won the governor’s race in the state early Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. He defeated Doug Mastriano, a Republican who was central to efforts to overturn Pennsylvania’s 2020 election results.

Mr. Shapiro positioned himself as a relatively moderate Democrat focused on the economy, education, public safety, abortion rights and democracy protections. At every turn, he moved to portray Mr. Mastriano as an extremist who threatened the fabric of the commonwealth with views that fell well outside the political mainstream. The current governor, Tom Wolf, is a Democrat who has reached his term limit.

Mr. Mastriano is an election denier who funded buses to shuttle supporters to the rally on Jan. 6, 2021, that preceded the attack on the Capitol, and he promised to enact broad new voting restrictions.

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, handing abortion policy back to the states, Mr. Mastriano’s strident opposition to abortion in virtually any circumstance became a major campaign issue. Asked whether he believed in exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the pregnant woman, he replied at a debate earlier this year, “I don’t give a way for exceptions.”

Some Republicans openly broke with Mr. Mastriano, and the Republican Governors Association never spent money to support him.

Mr. Shapiro vastly outraised and outspent Mr. Mastriano, dominating the airwaves by tens of millions of dollars. Although it is unusual for voters and organizations to back candidates from opposing parties, Mr. Shapiro also won over a number of groups that supported Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Republican nominee for Senate.

The governor’s race in Pennsylvania centered on the issue of religion, and concerns about antisemitism, to a striking degree.

In a place where the preamble to the state constitution emphasizes religious liberty, Mr. Mastriano, who promotes Christian power, indicated that he scorned the separation of church and state.

He also attacked Mr. Shapiro, an observant Jew, for attending and sending his children to what he called a “privileged, exclusive, elite” school — it is a Jewish day school — saying that it evinced Mr. Shapiro’s “disdain for people like us.”

And his campaign paid $5,000 to the far-right social media platform Gab, on which the man accused of perpetrating the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting had posted antisemitic screeds.

Under pressure, Mr. Mastriano said he rejected “antisemitism in any form.” But a late September campaign finance report showed that he had accepted a $500 donation from Gab’s founder, Andrew Torba in July.

“If you don’t look like him, if you don’t vote like him, if you don’t worship like him, if you don’t marry like him, you don’t count in his Pennsylvania,” Mr. Shapiro said of his opponent at a campaign rally on Saturday.

Mr. Shapiro is now poised to have a major national platform in an important presidential battleground state. Asked in an interview this fall whether he aspired to be the first Jewish president, he insisted, “No!”

“God willing, I’ll have the chance to serve as governor,” he said. “That is all I am focused on doing.”