Pennsylvania Dem. Governor-Elect Josh Shapiro Chooses Republican As His Secretary Of State

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Democratic Pennsylvania Governor-Elect Josh Shapiro has nominated former Republican Philadelphia official Al Schmidt to serve as his secretary of state.

Shapiro, who will assume office Jan. 17, said appointing the Republican official is a way to work across the political aisle and continue the work of “strengthening our democracy.”

“Al Schmidt has a proven track record of defending our democracy, protecting voting rights, and standing up to extremism – even in the face of grave threats,” Shapiro said in a statement. “I know he’ll continue the hard work of preserving and strengthening our democracy as my Secretary of the Commonwealth.”

Shapiro’s nomination will head to the state senate for confirmation, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Schmidt said Pennsylvania’s elected officials will work together to improve state elections, the outlet reported. He took charge during Philadelphia’s past elections, and has pushed for the state legislature to allow counties to begin processing mail-in ballots prior to Election Day. (RELATED: PA Gov. Elect Josh Shapiro Arrests Democratic Consultant For ‘Wide Scale’  Ballot Fraud) 

“Having visited counties throughout the Commonwealth, big cities and rural counties, speaking to Democratic election administrators and Republican administrators, there’s a lot that we all agree on,” Schmidt said during a Wednesday interview. “And I’m hopeful that everyone can work together to improve elections for voters in Pennsylvania.”

Schmidt was elected to the Philadelphia City Commissioners’ three-member elections board, the outlet reported. He was known for attempting to modernize the office and making data collected by the office public. During the 2020 presidential election, former President Donald Trump criticized the state’s election system.

Schmidt defended Pennsylvania’s election process and pushed back against Trump after the former president targeted him in a tweet, the outlet reported. Amid the conflict, he told CNN that claims of election fraud are made by “bad actors” that are “lying” about voter fraud in Philadelphia.

He later testified to the Jan. 6 Select Committee that Trump’s tweet allegedly led to increased threats of violence, the outlet reported.