Joe Gale is the lone Republican on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and a candidate for Pennsylvania governor.
He is a self-styled, anti-establishment outsider who was an early supporter of Donald Trump and has long positioned himself against Democrats and Republicans alike.
Gale, 32, is also the older brother of Sean Gale, a lawyer who is running for Senate. While no clear front-runner has emerged in the race for governor, Joe Gale lags far behind a handful of leading candidates in polling and fund-raising.
What is Joe Gale’s background?
A native of Montgomery County, Gale first ran for public office at age 20, when he sought a seat on the Plymouth Township council. He lost, but learned how to campaign even before graduating from Temple University.
He ran for office again in 2015, this time for a seat on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, the three-member governing body of one of the state’s most populous counties. By law, one seat is set aside for the minority party. Gale won that seat and served alongside Democrats Val Arkoosh, who dropped out of the Senate race this year, and Josh Shapiro, who in 2017 became state attorney general and is now the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor.
Gale’s five years on the board have been contentious. His confrontational approach led to early tension among members. He clashed openly with Arkoosh over coronavirus mitigation policies and settled a lawsuit over blocking his constituents on social media.
And in 2020, his colleagues voted to censure him after he referred to Black Lives Matter as a “hate group.” The Montgomery County Republican Committee denounced the comments, but Gale doubled down, saying “my support is, and has always been, from the voters, not party bosses.”
What are Joe Gale’s top policy priorities?
Gale says his agenda begins with changing election law, including eliminating mail voting and requiring voters show photo ID. He has repeatedly criticized State Sen. Doug Mastriano, one of the leading candidates in the race, for voting for Act 77, the law /that greatly expanded mail voting. (Mastriano says Act 77 was unconstitutionally “rewritten” by the courts and also is campaigning on its repeal.)
Gale also says he would cut corporate and gas taxes, and oppose minimum wage increases.
He is a staunch opponent of abortion rights, including in cases of rape or incest.
Who is backing Joe Gale?
Gale does not have any notable endorsements.
His campaign cash largely comes from small-dollar donors.
What else should I know?
Gale, who has been steadfastly pro-Trump since 2016, has criticized the former president for endorsing Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate primary.
He tweeted on April 10 that Trump has a “track record of bad endorsements” and should “stop playing King Maker with undeserving RINOs.” He joined a chorus of right-wing voices who have said Oz isn’t conservative enough, citing the celebrity doctor’s past statements on abortion and guns.