Josh Shapiro: Something very big for 2024 happened in Pennsylvania today

You shouldn’t, mainly because Shapiro’s candidacy – and the broader election of Pennsylvania governors – could well have a profound impact on the 2024 election and its aftermath.

Shapiro is almost certain to be the Democratic nominee, as he cleared the ground and was endorsed by Limited Term Governor Tom Wolf (D).

The Republican primary is more crowded, but the lead candidate – former Rep. Lou Barletta – was an early supporter of Donald Trump in Congress and was encouraged to run for the Senate in 2018 by the former president. (Barletta lost this race.) Barletta said he supports a statewide recount of the 2020 vote, a proposal that Trump supports despite the lack of evidence of widespread voter fraud.

So the choice of Pennsylvania voters next November may well fall to Shapiro, who fought subpoenas for voter personal information in the state, and Barletta, a close ally of Trump and believing in the lie that the 2020 elections were stolen.

The choice they make could determine what happens in Pennsylvania in 2024 – assuming Trump is on the ballot again.

Remember, Pennsylvania has been one of the most contested states in the country during the last two presidential elections; Trump beat Hillary Clinton by less than 45,000 votes in 2016 and Joe Biden edged Trump by just over 80,000 (out of nearly 7 million actors) last November.

A Governor Barletta might be ready to make Trump’s bidding on alleged problems with the mail-in ballots or whatever the former president is up to by then.

A Governor Shapiro would almost certainly not accede to Trump’s demands on the vote count.

“As governor, I will continue to resist attacks on our democracy,” Shapiro said in his announcement. “We will strengthen voter intimidation laws, improve the postal voting process and ensure that every eligible voter has their voice heard.”

Point: Who is the governor of Pennsylvania when the 2024 election rolls around enormously in light of the record shown by Trump of trying to rely on swing state elected officials to change the vote to increase his odds of winning – to both the state and the White House.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story named the wrong presidential candidate as the winner of Pennsylvania in 2016 and by the wrong number of votes. Donald Trump won Pennsylvania that year by less than 45,000 votes.

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