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Race for lieutenant governor heats up over endorsement claim

Race for lieutenant governor heats up over an endorsement claim 02:20

HARRISBURG (KDKA) - Attorney General Josh Shapiro has asked a candidate for lieutenant governor to stop using his name and image in a campaign ad.

In a television campaign ad for lieutenant governor, state Rep. Brian Sims of Philadelphia posted a picture of Democratic governor candidate Josh Shapiro with the words "endorsed Josh Shapiro."

"Brian's ad is misleading and unethical. I think this is why, quite frankly, people can't stand politicians," said state Rep. Austin Davis, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor.

Davis, who is Shapiro's choice to be lieutenant governor, says Sims refuses to correct the ad, while Sims says his ad merely notes that he, Sims, endorses Shapiro for governor, not the other way around.

Davis calls that misleading and is releasing his own TV ad. In Pennsylvania, lieutenant governor candidates run in a separate primary from the governor candidates. Davis is also highlighting his early exposure to gun violence in McKeesport when a young man was shot near him.

"He was shot three times on the corner, literally one door down from where my parents and I lived. That was a traumatic incident. I can remember very vividly my mother running outside to help, to aid this person while 911 and the ambulance was coming. And I remember thinking that no community should have to live with this kind of violence," Davis said.

While Davis would prefer to talk about strategies to combat gun violence, it's the endorsement issue that has stirred up the race. Sims tells KDKA that Shapiro reached out to him for his endorsement and he looks forward to being Shapiro's running mate. But it's Davis, not Sims, that Shapiro has endorsed, and Davis says his own ad will correct the record.

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