Doug Mastriano concedes to Josh Shapiro days after losing governor's race in Pennsylvania

Dustin Racioppi
Erie Times-News

Doug Mastriano acknowledged Sunday he lost the Pennsylvania governor's race to Democrat Josh Shapiro, five days after election returns showed the Republican nominee had no path to victory.

In a letter posted on social media, Mastriano called his campaign "The People's" movement and pledged it would continue despite his loss.

"Difficult to accept as the results are, there is no right course but to concede, which I do, and I look to the challenge ahead," he said. "Josh Shapiro will be our next Governor, and I ask everyone to give him the opportunity to lead and pray that he leads well."

Mastriano's concession comes well after it was clear he lost.

The Associated Press called the race for Shapiro Tuesday night. Mastriano, a staunch supporter of Donald Trump and the lie that he won the 2020 presidential election, trailed by 14 percentage points with nearly all votes counted heading into the weekend, an insurmountable deficit.

Appearing on CNN Sunday morning, Shapiro said Mastriano hadn't conceded his loss privately.

"Who cares if he calls?" Shapiro said. "He doesn't get to pick the winner. The people pick the winner. And in a resounding way, they made clear that they wanted me to lead this commonwealth forward."

Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano speaks to supporters during an election night campaign event at the Penn Harris Hotel in Camp Hill, Pa., Nov. 8, 2022.

While conceding defeat, Mastriano criticized Pennsylvania's voting system and said it is "in great need" of reform. The commonwealth had a mix of early and mail-in voting, as well as tradition Election Day voting at polling places. Because of that, results are no longer expected on election night.

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Mastriano indicated his political career is not over.

"We are resolute in our convictions and steadfast in our belief that everyone should walk as free people," he wrote, referring to his campaign mantra. "Freedom is never won easily, and it is never won once and for all. It's a fight that never rests."