Former Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro is making more of a name for himself as Pennsylvania state Attorney General.
At a June gathering in Colorado of intellectual and political elites, Josh Shapiro explained why he resisted entreaties to run for the U.S. Senate, waxed philosophically about interpretations of the Constitution, and took aim at President Trump, writes Andrew Seidman for philly.com.
Since Trump’s inauguration, attorneys general have “probably” become “the most important elected officials in our democracy,” Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s Democratic attorney general, said during a panel appearance at the Aspen Ideas Festival.
The statement may have been self-serving, but, at least to the progressive left, it had a kernel of truth. In his first nine months as the commonwealth’s top law enforcement officer, Shapiro has seized on the left’s anti-Trump enthusiasm, taking more than a dozen legal actions against the administration and writing scores of letters in protest.
Shapiro has also crisscrossed the state, traveling to nearly half its 67 counties, holding news conferences on drug busts and convening meetings on the front lines of the opioid epidemic. Shapiro says he’s made a concerted effort to visit “forgotten” counties in rural Pennsylvania.
Shapiro’s brisk schedule, clashes with Trump, and courting of the media suggest a grand design. He’s considered a leading contender for governor in 2022; some of his longtime friends whisper about the White House.
Intentionally or not, Shapiro is hewing to a model established by other prosecutors who have leveraged their office. As U.S. attorney for New Jersey, Chris Christie regularly bashed Trenton as a corrupt culture while the cameras rolled, then parlayed that seven-year stint into a two-term governorship.
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