"I'm calling to see if you want to sign my petitions,'' Jack Wagner said as he confirmed the news that he he jumping into the Democratic race for governor.
Mr. Wagner, a loser in the Pittsburgh mayoral primary last year, still doesn't have a campaign manager or a press secretary, but he's working with allies across the state to get the 2,000 signatures needed to get on the May 20 ballot.
Mr. Wagner said he was committed to running _ news first reported by John Baer in the Philadelphia Daily News, and was not circulating the petitions merely to keep his options open.
"I've been talking to people all over the state and I've been gettig a good reception,'' he said. "Even at this stage of the race it's still a jumbled up race in the Democratic primary.''
He acknowledged that fund-raising would be a challenge, "But I'll be working very hard at it,'' he said.
The former state senator and auditor general said that despite his Pittsburgh setback last year, he remained encouraged by the vote totals he ran up in his previous statewide races, which include two victories as auditor general but a loss to former county Executive Dan Onorato in the 2010 Democratic primary for governor.
"We did a tremendous job as auditor general,'' he said. I belive people trust me ... I'm not afraid to take a stand on issues as many people are.''
(Image: Jack Wagner. Rebecca Droke/Post-Gazette)