For Governor, Vote Shapiro; For Senate, Vote Fetterman

Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Lt. Governor John Fetterman.

Josh Shapiro has run what has been one of the most flawless campaigns in the history of Pennsylvania politics, one that has been on point with the issues most important to all Pennsylvanians. He has focused on preserving women’s right to choose, increasing funds for education, fighting gun violence by getting guns off the streets, and getting illegal drugs off our streets and those with substance abuse issues into rehab. He stood up strongly and earlier than most for marriage equality, and he has not shied away from the issue during the campaign. He hasn’t steered away from controversial subjects like putting hundreds of religious leaders who our families trusted behind bars when they abused and raped children. He also joined other Attorneys General around the country to fight against drug and insurance companies. And, of course, Josh Shapiro has been on the front line to protect and save our democracy and the right to vote. 

He hasn’t merely talked about these issues; he’s literally gone to court on each of them and spoke out even with threats to his family. As the old line goes “you can talk the talk, but do you walk the walk?” Josh Shapiro does, and he deserves your vote.

As John Fetterman said himself “let’s talk about the elephant in the room,” his stroke. It seems everyone has an opinion on what happened at the debate. My honest thought was that it was a train wreck, but that does not affect my support for him for U.S. Senator. If anything, it strengthens my support, since the one issue which everyone seems to be talking about is his auditory processing skills during the debate. He didn’t do well, but he did stay on point, and that, my friends, is what a Senator must do. Let’s face it: the days of a good debate on the Senate floor are long gone. What counts now is how a Senator is going to vote. We know where John Fetterman will vote. On the other hand, that man from New Jersey, Dr. Oz, will put a sheriff in the doctor’s office for those in need of an abortion. He said loud and clear during the debate that local politicians should be involved in determining whether a woman is forced to give birth. Oz has also refused to say if he’d codify marriage equality. Fetterman will let women decide for themselves, and he’ll codify marriage equality. Fetterman will fight the drug companies, not go into partnership with them to sell dubious products as Oz has. And on that issue of supporting our democracy, Oz said it during the debate “If Donald Trump runs for President, I’ll support him.” Oz supports the nation’s Traitor in Chief. He cannot be trusted in the Senate.

You often hear that this is the most important election of your life. Well, it is. Here it is in a nutshell: If we do not vote to elect a Democratic Governor and Senator in Pennsylvania, we will lose a women’s right to choose, marriage equality, voting rights, and on, and on, and on. The Republicans have boldly told you so. The Republicans are the extremists in this election. They have gone way too extreme in taking away the rights of people, and the only way to stop them is to vote for the Democratic party.

By the way, it’s easy to explain how the Republicans can take an issue and totally use it for mean-spirited and false info during a campaign. There are two U.S. Senators who have had strokes and are currently serving in the Senate, Maryland Sen. Van Hollen and New Mexico Sen. Ben Ray Luján. No other Senator of either party has asked them to resign or give up any duties. Lujan even underwent brain surgery followed by weeks of time off from work.

Vote to end this extremist, mean-spirited world the Republicans have created. They do it for their own power, not the good of Pennsylvanians.

Mark Segal is an American journalist. He is the founder and publisher of Philadelphia Gay News and has won numerous journalism awards for his column "Mark My Words," including best column by The National Newspaper Association, Suburban Newspaper Association and The Society of Professional Journalists.