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Wagner files petitions

Published by James O'Toole on .

Former Auditor General Jack Wagner is running a bare-bones campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor, but he appears to have surmounted the first hurdle on his long shot bid to carry his party's standard against Gov. Tom Corbett this fall.  

Mr. Wagner was the second Democrat to file, after John  Hanger, the former seceretary of environmental protection, whose lengthy platform includes a call to legalize and tax marijuana.

The deadline for petitions is the close of business Tuesday.  For governor that means collecting 2,000 signatures from registered voters, including subsets of at least 100 from each of ten separate counties.

Mr. Wagner dropped by the endorsement meeting of the Allegheny County Democratic Party Sunday, and expressed optimism about his late-launching campaign.  He acknowledged that he has yet to hire a campaign manager or press secretary but said that he's optimistic that his campaign logistics will fal into place soon.

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Guzzardi challenges Corbett

Published by James O'Toole on .

Gov. Tom Corbett won't get a free ride to renomination.

How big the cost would be remains to be seen, although there's little doubt that he will be on the GOP line in November.  Still, the mere fact that Bob Guzzardi, a conservative activist form Montgomery County, managed to submit nominating petitions for the GOP primary is an irritant to the governor's re-election campaign.

Mr. Guzzardi conceded when he announced his candidacy that he had almost not chance of winning.  But he's been estranged from Mr. Corbett's policies, among them the increased fees and taxes associated with the transportation legislation passed last year.  Assuming his petitions survive scrutiny, Mr. Guzzardi will have a bigger virtual megaphone for his attacks on the governor.  And while a Guzzardi victory on May 20 seems just short of inconceivable, his candidacy could have the makings of an embarassing headline for Mr. Corbett, if the challenger manages to attract much of a protest vote.

To get on the primary ballot for governor, a candidate must obtain 2,000 signatures of registered voters statewide, including at least 100 signatures from each of ten counties.

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Hagarty Joins Wolf team

Published by James O'Toole on .

On Saturday, Tom Wolf got Rich Fitzgerald's endorsement; on Monday he got his money guy.

Eric Hagarty who handled fundraising for Mr. Fitzgerald's run for county executive and did the same chore for Mayor Bill Peduto last year, announced that he had signed on as deputy campaign manager for the York County businesman who has jumped to the top of the early polls of the Democratic race for governor.

Mr. Hagarty said in an Email that he would be concentrating on western Pennsylvania for Wolf, while continuing his ties to Fitzgerald's fundraising operation.  Mr. Hagarty's access to the donor lists for the Peduto and Fitzgerald efforts will be an asset to the Wolf effort, although fund-raising is hardly an area of concern for the businssman who donated upwards of $10 million to his bid for the Democratic nomination.

 

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Paterno: education top issue

Published by James O'Toole on .

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.

 

 

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Rick rated among CPAC winners

Published by James O'Toole on .

Rick managed only a tie for fifth place in a straw poll of conservative activiists at last week's CPAC gathering outside Washington.  But Politico's James Hohmann rates him as one of the winners among the GOP nominee-wannabees who addressed the group:

"The last man standing against Romney in 2012 is positioning himself to run as the populist alternative to the libertarian Paul and whoever emerges as the establishment favorite.

"With 7 percent, he essentially tied Christie after giving a speech aimed squarely at the New Jersey governor’s electability pitch. Notably, the only other serious contender directly from the social-conservative wing of the party, 2008 contender Mike Huckabee, registered at just 2 percent in the straw poll.''

The straw poll tally: Sen. Rand Paul, 31 percent; Sen. Ted Cruz, 11; Ben Carson, 9; Chris Christie and Mr. Santorum, 7 percent; Sen. Marco Rubio, 6; Rep. Paul Ryan, 3; Gov. Rick Perry, 3' former Gov. Mike Huckabee, 2.

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