Josh Shapiro (born June 20, 1973) is an American politician from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A member of the Democratic Party, he is the Attorney General of Pennsylvania. He served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 153rd legislative district, from 2005 to 2012. He is a former member and Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. Shapiro was elected Attorney General in 2016.
Shapiro was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Rochester in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After college, he moved to Washington, D.C. and became a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Carl Levin. He then worked as a senior advisor to U.S. Representative Peter Deutsch (1996–98) and to U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli (1998–99). From 1999 to 2003, he was chief of staff to U.S. Representative Joe Hoeffel.
Shapiro received his Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University in 2002 and, in addition to his role as a county commissioner, works as an attorney with Stradley, Ronon, Stevens, and Young. He lives in Abington with his wife and 4 children.
In 2004, Shapiro ran for the seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives held by Ellen Bard, who had run unsuccessfully for Congress. His GOP opponent was Jon Fox, who represented Montgomery County in Congress from 1995 to 1999. Shapiro defeated Fox in November with 54% of the vote.
He won re-election against a lesser-known opponent, Lou Guerra, taking 76% of the vote. In 2007, Shapiro was named Deputy Speaker by incoming Speaker Denny O'Brien after Shapiro helped broker a deal to bring him into office.
In the 2008 Democratic primary, Shapiro ran uncontested. Additionally he won a write-in campaign on the Republican side to ensure that would win re-election without major opposition in November. Shapiro was said to be considering a run for the United States Senate before Arlen Specter announced he had joined the Democratic Party.
On January 31, 2011, Shapiro announced his candidacy for the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners after Hoeffel, whom Shapiro had succeeded as a state legislator, announced he would be retiring. Shapiro, along with fellow Democrat Leslie Richards, won the majority for Montgomery County, something that has never happened in the county's history. He was sworn in on January 3, 2012. He and Richards serve with Republican Bruce L. Castor, Jr., a former county district attorney and the only of the members of the previous Board to be re-elected. The three have forged a good working relationship by all accounts.
Shapiro's political future is the subject of much speculation and he has been mentioned on multiple occasions as a potential candidate for higher office. He ruled out running for U.S. House and for Governor in 2014 (instead endorsing Tom Wolf in the latter race). He was also a potential candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2016 before announcing a campaign for Pennsylvania Attorney General in January 2016. He became the Democratic nominee for Attorney General following the primary on April 26, 2016. Shapiro never held a position as a prosecutor prior to being elected attorney general. Agreeing with Shapiro's stance on guns, Michael Bloomberg, who was once the mayor of New York City, donated to Shapiro's campaign. Providing assistance for victims of addiction and imposing penalties for pollution caused by gas drilling, were among the biggest issues in Shapiro's campaign.
On November 8, 2016, Shapiro won the PA Attorney General race by defeating Republican challenger John Rafferty with 51.3% of the vote. Shapiro won the major counties of Philadelphia, Allegheny, Montgomery, Bucks, and Delaware while Rafferty won the major counties of Chester, Lancaster, Berks, Westmoreland and York.