Josh Shapiro

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Josh Shapiro
Josh Shapiro in 2019.jpg
50th Attorney General of Pennsylvania
Assumed office
January 17, 2017
GovernorTom Wolf
Preceded byBruce Beemer
Member of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners
In office
January 3, 2012 – January 17, 2017
Preceded byJoe Hoeffel
Succeeded byKenneth E. Lawrence Jr.
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 153rd district
In office
January 4, 2005[1] – January 3, 2012
Preceded byEllen Bard
Succeeded byMadeleine Dean
Personal details
Joshua David Shapiro

(1973-06-20) June 20, 1973 (age 47)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Lori Shapiro
EducationUniversity of Rochester (BA)
Georgetown University (JD)
WebsiteGovernment website

Joshua David Shapiro (born June 20, 1973) is an American politician and lawyer currently serving as the Attorney General of Pennsylvania. He previously served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and as chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Early life and education[edit]

Shapiro was born on June 20, 1973, in Kansas City, Missouri[2] and was raised in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He attended Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania for high school.[3] He attended the University of Rochester, and in 1992 he became the first freshman to win election as the student body president of the University of Rochester.[4] He graduated magna cum laude in 1995.[5] While working on Capitol Hill during the day, he also enrolled in law school as an evening student and earned a J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 2002.[6]

Shapiro lives with his wife Lori and their four children in Abington, Pennsylvania.[5] Shapiro is an observant Conservative Jew who keeps Kosher.[7]

Early career[edit]

Capitol Hill[edit]

After graduating college, Shapiro moved to Washington D.C. He started as legislative assistant to Senator Carl Levin, then served as a senior adviser to Congressman Peter Deutsch and Senator Robert Torricelli.[8] From 1999-2003, he worked as Chief of Staff to Congressman Joe Hoeffel.[9]

Pennsylvania House of Representatives[edit]

In 2004, Shapiro ran for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 153rd district.[8] He won election by a margin of nine points over the Republican nominee, former Congressman Jon D. Fox.[7] He won re-election in 2006, 2008, and 2010.

Following the 2006 elections, Democrats controlled the Pennsylvania State House with a one-seat advantage over Republicans, but the party was unable to unite behind a candidate for Speaker of the House. Shapiro helped to broker a deal that resulted in the election of moderate Republican Dennis O’Brien as Speaker of the House. O'Brien subsequently named Shapiro as Deputy Speaker of the House.[10]

County commissioner[edit]

Shapiro won election to the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners in 2011; the election marked the first time in history that the Republican Party lost control of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.[11] Shapiro became chairman of the board of commissioners, initially serving alongside Democrat Leslie Richards and Republican Bruce Castor.[4] During his tenure, the board of commissioners implemented zero-based budgeting and shifted county pension investments from hedge funds to index funds.[11] Democrats retained a majority on the board of commissioners in the 2015 election, as Shapiro and his running mate, Val Arkoosh, both won election.[12]

In April 2015, Governor Tom Wolf named Shapiro Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.[citation needed]

Pennsylvania Attorney General[edit]

Shapiro announced his intention to run for Pennsylvania Attorney General in January 2016.[13] He had never previously served as a prosecutor, but he was a member of the state bar and worked with the law firm Stradley Ronon.[14] Shapiro campaigned on his promise to restore the office's integrity following the resignation of Kathleen Kane, and he also promised to work to combat the opioid epidemic[10] and gun violence. His campaign was supported by President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg was among the largest donors to Shapiro's campaign.[15] He won the Democratic primary for attorney general in April 2016, defeating Stephen Zappala and John Morganelli with 47% of the vote.[16] In November 2016, Shapiro won election as attorney general, defeating Republican nominee John Rafferty Jr. with 51.3% of the vote.[17]

Upon taking office, Shapiro joined with several other state attorneys general in opposing President Donald Trump's travel ban,[18] and he also filed a lawsuit to block the implementation of a rule that would have made it easier for employers to deny health insurance coverage of contraceptives.[19] He also joined a lawsuit against ITT Technical Institute, a for-profit educational institute, that resulted in a $168 million settlement (with about $5 million of that settlement going to Pennsylvania students).[20] In 2018, he reached an agreement with federal officials to prevent the distribution of blueprints for 3D printed firearms.[21] In 2019, he came out in support of the legalization of marijuana for recreational use by adults, joining Governor Wolf and other leading Pennsylvania Democrats.[22]

In 2016, shortly before Shapiro took office, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office began an investigation of allegations of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church. Shapiro chose to move forward with the investigation, and, in August 2018, he released the results of an extensive grand jury report. The report alleged the sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children at the hands of over 300 priests.[6] His report prompted similar investigations in other states, an inquiry by the federal government, and proposed legislation to change the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania.[citation needed]

In May 2019, it was reported that Shapiro and State Senator Jay Costa had directed paid communications staffers to edit their Wikipedia pages with positive material.[23][24]


  1. ^ "SESSION OF 2005 - 189TH OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY - No. 1" (PDF). Legislative Journal. Pennsylvania House of Representatives. January 4, 2005.
  2. ^ "Joshua D. Shapiro". Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
  3. ^ Cohen, Jason (February 17, 2016). "Josh Shapiro ready for next phase of career". Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle.
  4. ^ a b Routh, Julian (February 25, 2019). "'He's got the courage of his convictions:' Attorney General Josh Shapiro embraces high-level battles". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  5. ^ a b "The Office". Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  6. ^ a b Dias, Elizabeth (August 27, 2018). "Meet Josh Shapiro, the Man Behind the Bombshell Investigation of Clergy Sexual Abuse". New York Times.
  7. ^ a b "Politics: Cleaning House". Philadelphia Magazine. November 20, 2007.
  8. ^ a b "Short Bios of New House & Senate Members" (PDF). Crisci Associates. January 7, 2005.
  9. ^ "About Josh Shapiro | Josh Shapiro, Chairman, Board of Commissioners, Montgomery County, PA". 2012-07-22. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  10. ^ a b Hall, Peter. "Pennsylvania's new attorney general hopes to restore confidence in the office". Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  11. ^ a b Blumgart, Jake (April 20, 2016). "Is Josh Shapiro the Guy to Clean Up Kathleen Kane's Scandal-Ravaged Office?". Philadelphia Magazine.
  12. ^ Foti, Kaitlyn (November 4, 2015). "Soul searching for Republicans after Democrat sweep in Montgomery County". Times Herald.
  13. ^ Field, Nick (January 12, 2016). "Shapiro Officially Announces AG Campaign". PoliticsPA. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  14. ^ Orso, Anna (October 25, 2016). "Josh Shapiro vs. John Rafferty: What to know about the PA Attorney General race". BillyPenn.
  15. ^ Orso, Anna. "Josh Shapiro wins PA Attorney General race". Billy Penn. Spirited Media. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  16. ^ Addy, Jason (April 26, 2016). "Shapiro Wins Dem AG Nomination". PoliticsPA. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  17. ^ Times, New York (November 21, 2016). "Pennsylvania Attorney General Results: Josh Shapiro Wins". Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  18. ^ Burns, Alexander (February 6, 2017). "How Attorneys General Became Democrats' Bulwark Against Trump". New York Times.
  19. ^ Pear, Robert (December 15, 2017). "Court Temporarily Blocks Trump Order Against Contraceptive Coverage". New York Times.
  20. ^ Murrell, David (October 1, 2019). "Attorney General Josh Shapiro Is Hosting a Philly Town Hall on Student Debt". Philly Mag.
  21. ^ Hsu, Tiffany; Feuer, Alan (July 30, 2018). "A Rush to Block Downloadable Plans for 3-D Printed Guns". New York Times.
  22. ^ "Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro Backs Legalizing Marijuana". CBS Philly. September 27, 2019.
  23. ^ BOARD, THE LNP EDITORIAL. "Public employees shouldn't be tasked with writing glowing entries for elected officials' Wikipedia pages [opinion]". LancasterOnline. Retrieved 2020-04-24.
  24. ^ Writers, CARTER WALKER and JUNIOR GONZALEZ | Staff. "Wikipedia flags Pa. Attorney General Josh Shapiro over glowing, staff-written bio". LancasterOnline. Retrieved 2020-04-24.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Kathleen Kane
Democratic nominee for Attorney General of Pennsylvania
Most recent
Legal offices
Preceded by
Bruce Beemer
Attorney General of Pennsylvania