HARRISBURG, Pa. – Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro is painting a major part of his Cabinet red in a purple state.
The Democrat nominated Republican Al Schmidt, who helped oversee Philadelphia’s 2020 election, to be his secretary of state.
He tapped former Republican Sen. Pat Browne to be revenue secretary and one-time Bucks County Republican District Attorney Michelle Henry to be attorney general.
“Showing what I think we’ve come to expect in Josh Shapiro, he provides a better, deeper and more thoughtful approach to governing, a different approach, than we’ve seen in a long time,” said Democratic strategist and former state legislator T.J. Rooney.
While governors adding members of the opposite party isn’t unique to Shapiro, Rooney says putting them in prime positions to push policy is.
“What it really does, it affects the atmosphere,” he added.
Less than two weeks into the new year, it’s already a tense political atmosphere in Harrisburg, as House members are already rowing over their new speaker.
Republican strategist Sam Chen says Shapiro’s picks are bridging the partisan divide, helping to move future legislation.
“If there’s a situation where you need to bring some Republicans over on the issue, you have people in your administration who can speak to that,” Chen said.
And of course, in the game that is politics, Chen says it’s best to always play offense.
“And so this is a move that shows people he’s serious about governing, he’s willing to work across the aisle,” he said.
Shapiro is set to be sworn in on Tuesday.
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