Mastriano, meanwhile, refused to concede on Tuesday night, telling supporters he would wait until every vote is counted.
Shapiro, who will succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, has been Pennsylvania’s attorney general since 2017. He ran on a promise to overhaul the state’s criminal justice system.
Shapiro promised to protect abortion rights, reform the state’s cash bail system — which he said disproportionately affected people with low incomes — and boost education funding. Despite often being dubbed by the media as a moderate or establishment Democrat, Shapiro said he identified as a “populist” because “every day, I put people before powerful institutions.”
As attorney general, Shapiro fought against former President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. In contrast, Mastriano had often repeated Trump’s false voter fraud claims and pledged to make all Pennsylvanians re-register to vote if he won the gubernatorial race.
In 2018, Shapiro made international headlines when he released a grand jury report that revealed the Catholic Church had hidden the sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children. In a recent interview with POLITICO, he described that time as especially difficult for him as a “person of faith.”
Religion often became a campaign reference in the race. Shapiro, a Conservative Jew from the Philly suburbs, embraced his Judaism to connect with spiritual Pennsylvanians of all faiths. In addition to visiting churches, he consistently used his ads when framing his Republican opponent as too extreme.
The themes Mastriano incorporated into his campaign largely contrasted with Shapiro’s — from supporting abortion bans without exceptions to vowing to stop “no-excuse” mail voting that allows voters to request a mail-in ballot without first needing to provide an explanation.
Shapiro released ads for months specifically calling out Mastriano’s polarizing views. The Republican candidate was also criticized for his association with Andrew Torba, the co-founder of the far-right social media platform Gab whose antisemitic remarks and association with Christian nationalism grabbed headlines. Mastriano himself also has been accused of using antisemitic tropes, at one point portraying Shapiro as out of touch with everyday Pennsylvanians because he attended “one of the most privileged schools in the nation,” a Jewish private school.
Shapiro fueled this into his campaign, easily raising far more funds than Mastriano. He also was expected to have spent a total of $35 million through the election cycle while Mastriano was projected to spend less than $200,000.
Shapiro’s victory did not come as a surprise to pundits on either side of the aisle. Polls less than two weeks before Election Day had Shapiro in the lead, with one survey showing 13 percent of voters as undecided.
When Mastriano finally released an ad in early October, it focused on his time in the Army rather than on how Pennsylvania would fare in his opponent’s hands.
Natalie Fertig contributed to this report.