Add money to the list of clear distinctions between Democrat Josh Shapiro and Republican Doug Mastriano in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race.
Records filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State show that Shapiro had a commanding cash advantage of $5.4 million to $535,217 over Mastriano — 10 times as much as the Republican nominee. The Pennsylvania attorney general’s war chest is buoyed by some prominent figures, such as filmmaker Steven Spielberg and the owners of two Pennsylvania sports franchises, and less than half of his top 20 benefactors list a commonwealth address.
Mastriano’s much more modest contributions are coming largely from small business owners and retirees in Pennsylvania.
The data reviewed is focused on contributions made by individuals and not committees and organizations. Overall Shapiro has raised $12.1 million in 2022 alone while Mastriano has raised $726,495 this year.
The average individual donation among top-20 donors to Shapiro is about $123,662. Meanwhile, the average individual donation among top-20 donors to Mastriano is approximately just $8,871.
These figures, an indicator of enthusiasm heading into the November race, are according to records submitted to the state government this summer for the 30-day post-primary cycle.
Shapiro is getting support from celebs like Steven Spielberg
Several of Shapiro’s supporters could be considered household names.
World-famous director Spielberg and his wife, actress and director Kate Capshaw Spielberg, gave $100,000 each to the Democrat’s campaign. Spielberg is considered the most commercially successful director of the modern Hollywood era, with “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Jurassic Park” and the Indiana Jones series to his credit. Capshaw Spielberg co-starred in “Temple of Doom,” one of those Indiana Jones films.
Philadelphia Phillies part-owner John Middleton has also given the Shapiro campaign $100,000, and Pittsburgh Steelers president and part-owner Art Rooney II has chipped in an additional $10,000. Other top donors include philanthropists, banking officials and chief executives from PayPal, DoorDash and Facebook.
Despite the high profile of some top contributors, Shapiro campaign spokesperson Will Simons noted that much of the attorney general’s financial support is coming in the form of small dollars from commonwealth residents.
“Josh Shapiro has proven to Pennsylvanians that he has our backs, and people across the Commonwealth are supporting him in record numbers because they know he will keep fighting for us as Governor,” Simons said in an email. “Josh is running against the most dangerous and extreme candidate for Governor in Pennsylvania history – Doug Mastriano wants to ban all abortion, destroy the union way of life, and throw out Pennsylvanians’ votes – and our supporters know just how much is at stake in this election and they’ve joined our movement to win in November.”
Polling:Democrats Fetterman, Shapiro show early leads in USA Today Network/Suffolk University poll
Who is Doug Mastriano’s donor base?
Owners of Pennsylvania companies in the trucking, construction and RV sales businesses sit at the top of Mastriano’s fundraising list. There’s also an equestrian breeding outfit from Indiana in his top three.
Dave Bell, chairman of the Washington County Republican Party, said he isn’t surprised by the campaign finance records.
“The Democrats are very anxious to win this race. They historically have raised a lot of money,” Bell said.
“Mastriano’s money has been primarily from interested Pennsylvanians, and really that’s the way it should be.”
According to Bell, the GOP in Washington County is doing its part. He said they’ve been hard at work distributing signs and promoting Mastriano’s candidacy.
“We run our own campaigns,” he said. “We’re working at the grassroots level.”
A new round of campaign finance reports are due to be filed by next week.