After rumors that U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz was pondering a bid for governor in 2014, there's several reports out this afternoon indicating that the southeastern Pennsylvania congresswoman's interest has turned to serious consideration.
From the AP:
Schwartz’s top aide last month ruled out a gubernatorial bid by her boss. But her chief of staff Rachel Magnuson said Friday the fourth-term congressman has changed her mind. She’s now weighing a challenge to Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in 2014 among options that also include running for Republican Pat Toomey’s Senate seat in 2016.
Schwartz, the only woman in Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, already has $3 million in her campaign fund. She also heads a political committee that gives money to Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania.
Numerous other Democrats are also weighing whether to seek the nomination for governor in 2014. Former state environmental protection chief John Hanger has already thrown his hat into the ring.
Tom Fitzgerald of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Schwartz hired the finance director from the state Democratic Party, and he evaluates her strengths:
Democrats believe Corbett is vulnerable because of cuts he made to education and welfare programs. Schwartz has a base in the southeast, has had success solidifying her hold on a competitive suburban House district, and has feminist credentials. Corbett also angered supporters of abortion rights by supporting a proposal to require women to undergo ultrasounds before having an abortion.
Moreover, Schwartz had $3.1 million in her congressional campaign account as of October, according to federal records. That cash could be converted to a state campaign account should Schwartz decide to run for governor.