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Doug Mastriano concedes to Josh Shapiro, five days after Election Day

Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor in Pa., conceded the race Sunday to Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro in a statement released on social media.

Republican Doug Mastriano and his wife, Rebbie, pray with supporters at his election night party in Camp Hill on Nov. 8, 2022.
Republican Doug Mastriano and his wife, Rebbie, pray with supporters at his election night party in Camp Hill on Nov. 8, 2022.Read moreSTEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer

Doug Mastriano lost the race for governor in Pennsylvania by 14 points last Tuesday. Five days later, he conceded to Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro.

“Difficult to accept as the results are, there is no right course but to concede, which I do, and I look to the challenges ahead,” Mastriano tweeted in a statement Sunday afternoon. “Josh Shapiro will be our next governor, and I ask everyone to give him the opportunity to lead and pray that he leads well.”

That was a shift in tone for Mastriano, a Republican state senator from Franklin County, who in the days after the election had used social media posts to complain about Shapiro’s campaign and media organizations that covered the race.

Mastriano on Sunday morning retweeted a supporter who claimed that “the vote in PA was corrupt & robbed Pennsylvania citizens” of his service as governor.

A spokesperson for Shapiro, a Democrat from Abington in his second term as state attorney general, said Mastriano had not contacted the governor-elect directly to concede.

“I mean, who cares if he calls,” Shapiro said Sunday morning when asked during an interview with CNN whether Mastriano had called to concede. “He doesn’t get to pick the winner. The people pick the winner.”

Mastriano’s concession noted that he was “massively outspent” and did not receive support from national Republican organizations.

Shapiro raised more than $65 million for his campaign this year, including $1.6 million from the Democratic Governors Association in the closing weeks of the campaign. Mastriano raised nearly $7 million, and the Republican Governors Association rejected his request for support.

Mastriano, first elected to the Senate in a 2019 special election, gained attention first by protesting government precautions in 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19 and then by embracing former President Donald Trump’s lies in a failed effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Pennsylvania.

“Pennsylvania is in great need of election reform,” Mastriano said in his concession, complaining that the full election results in the state are still not reported. “Pennsylvanians deserve to have faith in our elections. In my role as state senator, I will do my very best to help Josh Shapiro deliver that to Pennsylvania and, if he does, I will be the first to acknowledge and applaud his achievement.”

Mastriano and his Republican colleagues in the Senate voted in 2019 for legislation that greatly expanded the use of mail ballots. Those same Republicans have resisted legislation that would allow counties to begin processing those ballots before polls open at 7 a.m. on Election Day.