PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania voters will head to the polls next Tuesday for the commonwealth’s primary election. At the top of the ballot is the race for the governor.

A packed field of Republican gubernatorial candidates is vying to take control of the state after eight years of Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf. With the Republican Party likely to maintain control of the legislature, the governorship is proving to be a high-stakes election for both parties.

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VOTER GUIDE: Pennsylvania Primary Election 2022

The presumed Democratic candidate is Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is unopposed in the primary. He has served as AG since 2017. Shapiro touts fighting the opioid epidemic, standing up for seniors who’ve been scammed, protecting the right to vote and leading on criminal justice reform as ways of protecting Pennsylvanians.

According to recent polls, leading the Republican candidate is central Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano.

Mastriano is an Army veteran who served in Desert Storm and has been a vocal critic of COVID-19 protocols. He has called for an audit of the 2020 election, alleging unfounded claims of voting fraud. He vows to fight for election integrity, eliminate mail-in ballots and reform state government. The first-term senator serves Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York Counties.

Lou Barletta served as a Congressmember but began his political career as mayor of Hazelton in northeast Pennsylvania. He has built his platform around rebuilding the economy, unleashing Pennsylvania’s natural resources, combatting illegal immigration and supporting law enforcement officers.

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Former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Bill McSwain was appointed by former President Donald Trump. He served as a U.S Marine. He is a self-described conservative Republican.

As governor, McSwain says his priorities would include strengthening the economy, reducing crime, promoting school choice and pro-family policies and securing the state’s elections.

David White was a Delaware County councilmember. He is a steamfitter with decades of experience in HVAC installation who owns a multimillion-dollar HVAC business. He touts putting working-class Pennsylvanians first and making the commonwealth a go-to destination for businesses as his top priorities.

 

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Also on the ballot are long-time central Pennsylvania political strategist Charlie Gerow, Poconos resident and heart surgeon Dr. Nche Zama, Pittsburgh area attorney and former Congressmember Melissa Hart and Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale.