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November 06, 2020

Josh Shapiro tops Heather Heidelbaugh in Pennsylvania Attorney General race

Incumbent Democratic headed back to Harrisburg for second term

Pennsylvania voters have re-elected Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat who spent his first term rooting out sexual abuse among the Catholic Church, challenging Trump administration polices and taking on opioid and e-cigarette manufacturers. 

Shapiro defeated Republican challenger Heather Heidelbaugh, a trial lawyer who previously served on the Allegheny County Council. The Associated Press called the race Friday afternoon. 

With 88% of precincts reporting, Shapiro had garnered 49.59% of the vote to Heidelbaugh's 4.7.63%. Green Party candidate Richard Weiss and Libertarian Party candidate Daniel Wassmer also ran.

Vote totals are unofficial until certified by state election officials. 

The race was declared three days after Election Day because state election workers needed to count millions of mail-in ballots – most of which have favored Democratic candidates. 

Shapiro, of Montgomery County, thanked his supporters in a tweet.

During his first term, Shapiro focused on a wide range of issues, including student loans, gun violence, drug trafficking, fracking violations and consumer price gouging. 

His office spearheaded a two-year investigation that identified 301 Catholic priests who allegedly sexually victimized more than 1,000 children. 

He repeatedly sued the Trump administration, including one lawsuit that sought to end an immigration policy that separated children from their parents at the United States-Mexican border. Another challenged operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service that threatened to delay the delivery of mail-in ballots. 

Shapiro also filed suit against the Sackler family, the owners of Purdue Pharma, which manufactures Oxycontin. And he took on Juul, claiming the company illegally marketed its e-cigarettes to children. 

Shapiro has vowed to continue fighting for environmental justice and ensuring the rights of LGBTQ residents during his second term. 

Heidelbaugh focused her campaign on the opioid epidemic, targeting special interest groups, consumer protection and finding corruption and waste in the state government.