Story by Ed Mahon of Spotlight PA
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HARRISBURG — As a freshman state senator, Doug Mastriano (R., Franklin) rose to prominence by vocally opposing the Wolf administration’s COVID-19 shutdown orders, mask mandates, and other efforts to slow the spread of the disease.
Now a candidate for governor, Mastriano continues to tout that record and criticize his Democratic opponent Josh Shapiro for defending the restrictions as the state’s attorney general.
Shapiro recently told The Associated Press that his office is required to defend the state in court, and personally criticized shutdowns and mandates. Shapiro, in turn, has tried to put Mastriano on the defense for his opposition to abortion; Mastriano has sponsored legislation that would ban abortions at roughly six weeks of pregnancy. Shapiro does not support additional restrictions on abortion, and he’s promised to protect the state from an extreme ban through his veto power.
Those two issues — the coronavirus pandemic and abortion rights — have in many ways dominated the conversation surrounding the race for governor. But the next person who holds that office will have influence or direct control over many other issues affecting health care in Pennsylvania — from who qualifies for an…