Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro, Lt. Gov.-elect Austin Davis, and Gov. Tom Wolf speak during a press conference at the Capitol on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022 (Capital-Star photo).
In their first Capitol press conference since winning last week’s election, Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro and Lt. Gov.-elect Austin Davis reiterated a campaign commitment to building an administration that “looks like Pennsylvania” — pledging to bring the state together and build on Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s legacy.
“Throughout our campaign, we built a historic coalition of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to defeat extremism and defend real freedom. And now, it’s our responsibility to build an administration to meet this moment and move our commonwealth forward,” Shapiro said Wednesday. “We are going to assemble a talented, hard-working, capable administration, one that looks like Pennsylvania and is ready to go to work on day one.”
Wolf, who joined the heads of the incoming Democratic administration and leaves office in January, said Pennsylvania is in a “good place” after making “some real progress” during his tenure. He cited increased education investments, a reduced unemployment rate, and a stocked rainy day fund. Wolf also noted vetoed legislation restricting reproductive health access as a victory.
“What is the commonwealth going to do with all these resources? Of course, the answer lies with Gov.-elect Shapiro,” Wolf said. “His goal is to take the progress we’ve made over the past eight years and keep moving the commonwealth forward to brand new places. He’s going to face many challenges in this endeavor, but I know [he’s] up to facing these challenges.”
Shapiro, who thanked Wolf for leaving Pennsylvania with a “firm foundation,” said the governor’s race was “a test about what kind of commonwealth we want to be. He added that the election came down to protecting rights and freedoms, good schools, safe communities, and a thriving economy.
“The people of this commonwealth came together, and they spoke up in a decisive and historic way — standing up to extremism, defending real freedom, and searching for common ground,” Shapiro said. “That is my mandate. That is our mandate to lead forward.”
Davis, who will be the state’s first Black lieutenant governor, said the duo ran “to create an economy that works for everyone” and stressed their campaign’s focus on bonding with voters statewide — “and communities across our state that are too often left behind.” He added that every child, regardless of their ZIP code, should receive a quality education and that working families should have more opportunities to succeed.
“And because of the good people of Pennsylvania, starting today, we get to work on making those things a reality,” Davis said. “I believe the people closest to the pain should be closest to the power, and Josh Shapiro and I are going to build an administration that looks like Pennsylvania.”
Davis vowed to advocate “for the people who often feel unseen, forgotten, and unheard,” promising to create a commonwealth “where all are welcome.”
They urged Pennsylvanians to set aside political divisions and said their administration will consist of people from all backgrounds.
Next week, Shapiro and Davis will announce leaders of the transition process, who will help with recruitment efforts for the incoming administration. They also anticipate announcing a leadership board and several advisory committees to help advance administration priorities, including growing the economy, community safety, and education.
“For anyone who is willing to take off the red jersey or the blue jersey, and put on the Pennsylvania jersey, I invite you to join our team,” Shapiro said.
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