When Josh Shapiro is sworn in as Pennsylvania’s next governor on Jan. 17, he’ll be joined by a familiar face as he takes on the new role.
Longtime Shapiro staffer Dana Fritz will join the new administration as the governor-elect’s chief of staff, where she will serve as a top adviser to the Democratic governor and oversee the day-to-day operations of his office, the Shapiro transition team announced Thursday.
A native of the Coplay borough in Lehigh County, Fritz most recently served as Shapiro’s campaign manager during this year’s gubernatorial election, where Shapiro secured more than 3 million votes en route to beating state Sen. Doug Mastriano, the GOP nominee.
In this role, Fritz directed the campaign’s strategy, managing a team of 30 staff, as well as a $68 million budget. “It was a big job and it was very rewarding and we had a great team behind us,” she told City & State in an interview.
Prior to this year’s gubernatorial race, Fritz worked on Shapiro’s last three political campaigns – she managed his successful 2020 reelection campaign for attorney general, and also served as deputy campaign manager and finance director for his 2016 run for attorney general. She held those same roles during a 2015 coordinated campaign for Shapiro and Dr. Val Arkoosh for seats on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
As chief of staff, Fritz will be one of Shapiro’s top advisers tasked with helping him carry out his vision for the state – as well as his administration. She’ll be in key in building Shapiro’s administration as inauguration day nears.
She acknowledged that the job will require adaptability, given the unpredictable nature of working in state government. “It's very hard to predict what your day-to-day looks like every day because there are going to be things that you're dealing with that you never would have expected,” she said.
Fritz said she will help steer the Shapiro administration’s agenda through Harrisburg, and said Shapiro remains focused on the economy, education and public safety.
“I see my role as captaining the ships and pushing us forward and building a team that is able to execute on the governor-elect’s top priorities of an economy that works for all and in good education for every child and making our communities more safe.”
As for how she’ll conduct herself in the role, Fritz said she carries a focused, no-nonsense attitude. “I am very low-drama. I try to run a team that is focused on our mission, and not on ego or on personal feelings.”
Just like the administration that preceded it, Shapiro and his staff will have to navigate divided government in the state Capitol, all the more complicated by a complex struggle for control in the state House.
While Republicans will control one chamber of the legislature when Shapiro takes office, Fritz said one area where she could see Shapiro and Republicans agreeing is on improving access to career and technical education. It’s an area she said “has support on every side” of the political spectrum.
Fritz said the incoming administration will be unperturbed by the political dynamic in the Capitol, and that Shapiro plans to engage lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. “That is not something that is new to us,” Fritz said. “The governor-elect has a lot of good relationships already walking in there on day one, so we plan to build on those and work across the aisle and work collaboratively to get things done.”