Saying that he saw no path to victory, John Hanger, the former secretary of environmental resources, is withdrawing from the race for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Mr. Hanger was a respected presence in the Democratic field, driving the conversation on issues such as marijuana legalization and reform of the state's charter school funding. He failed to gain traction in the polls or in fundraising, however, shortfalls he acknowledged in his withdrawal statement.
That leaves a five-person Democratic field including U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty; state Treasurer Rob McCord; businessman Tom Wolf, and former Auditor General Jack Wagner.
Here are some excerpts from Mr. Hanger's message emailed around the state:
"We have achieved much in this campaign, like making the most substantive case for Corbett’s defeat, according to Governor Rendell. We also achieved our first, and most important, goal of proposing numerous, detailed policy solutions that will rebuild Pennsylvania. We have driven the debate on issue after issue, such as charter school accountability, reforming our cruel marijuana policies that harm patients and ruin the lives of good people, as well as energy and environmental policy. These solutions are now part of the vernacular of the Democratic campaign, and they will be part of the policy package that will persuade Pennsylvanians to elect a Democrat as Governor in November.''
“Our second goal of winning the Democratic primary simply slipped beyond our reach. Tom Wolf's television campaign has been startlingly effective, and he has taken a commanding lead, having reached support of 40% or more. With no path to victory, to press on could cause damage to the issues and people for which we campaigned.''
Here's Karen Langley's story on the exit.
The full text of Mr. Hanger's withdrawal statement is after the jump.