Shapiro backs Pittsburgh-area lawmaker to be running mate
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the Democratic Party’s presumed nominee for governor this year, endorsed a Pittsburgh-area state lawmaker, Austin Davis, to be his running mate and lieutenant governor Tuesday.
Davis announced his candidacy alongside Shapiro and top Democrats from the area at a park in McKeesport next to a Dura-Bond plant for steel pipe, mostly used by the oil and gas industry.
Davis, 32, is in his third term representing McKeesport and other nearby steel towns along the Monongahela River in the state House of Representatives. He is a member of the Legislative Black Caucus and, if elected, would be the state’s first Black lieutenant governor.
He has connections to Allegheny County’s party leaders, having been a top aide to Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald a vice chair of the county Democratic Party. He serves on the board of the Port Authority of Allegheny County and chairs the Allegheny County delegation in the House.
Davis stressed his humble roots and devotion to helping working-class families, and called himself the son of a hairdresser and a union bus driver who knows “what it’s like to come from a family that’s had to get creative to make ends meet.”
“My family has struggled with the same challenges that millions of Pennsylvanians face every day,” Davis said.
Also seeking the party’s nomination for lieutenant governor is five-term state Rep. Brian Sims of Philadelphia. Sims made history in 2012 when he became Pennsylvania’s first openly gay candidate to be elected to the Legislature.
The primary election is May 17.
Besides Shapiro, Davis brings along the backing of Gov. Tom Wolf, Democratic leaders of the state House and Senate and party leaders in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and southeastern Pennsylvania.
Shapiro was elected in 2020 to his second term as Pennsylvania’s attorney general. His electoral success and fundraising prowess have effectively cleared the party’s gubernatorial field of any high-level opposition.
Wolf is constitutionally limited to serving two terms and must leave office next January. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is not running for reelection and is instead running for U.S. Senate.