Jay Paterno, the son of the late Penn State icon Joe Paterno, was working the crowd at the Sunday meeting of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee, courting votes and seeking last minute signatues on the nominating petitions due in Harrisburg on Tuesday.
Mr. Paterno said he had decided to get into the race because of his passion about the issue of education.
"I felt like if I ran for lieutenant governor, I could have a major impact on education in the state of Pennsylvania,'' he said. "I've had twenty years of coaching people, teaching young people, and being around institutions of higher learning,'' he said. "I just think it's an important issue.''
One thing his candiadacy is not about, he emphaiszed, is any desire to relitigate the still-smoldering controversies surrounding the Jerry Sandusky case and his late father's dismissal as Penn State football coach.
"It really has nothing to do with that; it didn't factor in [my decision] in any way,'' he said.
Mr. Paterno said he had become acquainted with all of the major Democratic candidates for governor _ his potential runnig mates _ and felt that his views on education and other issues were compatible with all or them.
In Pennsylvania, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run separately in the primay and join as a ticket only in the general election.
The other announced candidates for the second spot on the Democratic ticket are former U.S. Rep. Mark Critz; state Sen. Mike Stack; former Harrsiburg official Brenda Alton; Harrisburg Councilman Brad Koplinski; state Rep. Brandon Neuman; and Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith.