Campaign '14
By John Guerriero, Kevin Flowers Erie Times-News staff bloggers
John Guerriero and Kevin Flowers have joined forces for Campaign ’14, a blog about the 2014 races for governor and U.S. House, among others. And you'll read about President Barack Obama, Congress and what's going on in Harrisburg. Check it out and you’ll be a lot more informed before voting in the May 21 primary and the Nov. 5 election.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1690
814-870-1693
Posts tagged ‘John Hanger’
Posted: March 13th, 2014
John Hanger/ETN file photo

John Hanger/ETN file photo

It’s been a tough week for Democratic candidates for governor.

John Hanger, the former state environmental protection secretary who made marijuana reform a key part of his campaign, withdrew from the race today. The timing was unexpected, coming three days after filing petitions to get on the May 20 primary ballot.

But in a statement, Hanger said, “There is no longer a path to victory in the Democratic primary, and so I am therefore withdrawing my candidacy for governor of Pennsylvania.

“This decision disappoints my great campaign team and me, as it does thousands of our supporters. We have tried every possible means to find a way to win and so avoid the necessity of making this decision. With no path to victory, to press on could cause damage to the issues and people for which we campaigned,” he said.

Hanger, of Dauphin County, said that Democratic candidate Tom Wolf’s television campaign has been “startlingly effective,” and the former state revenue department secretary has taken what Hanger called a commanding lead with support of 40 percent or higher in the Democratic primary race.

“Tom Wolf’s surge that stalled our January momentum meant that our recent polling was not strong enough for us to raise the funds for television and radio advertising needed for victory at the end of this campaign. Furthermore, and crucially for our campaign, it is now probable that the winner of the Democratic primary will get considerably more than 30 percent of the primary vote, a target we cannot reach,” he said.

Hanger said the remaining five Democratic primary candidates are “conducting their campaigns well and honorably, never losing focus on the ultimate goal” of winning the office. Hanger said the objective of defeating Republican Gov. Tom Corbett remains “clearly in sight and I have never been more optimistic that we will be toasting that victory the evening of Nov. 4.”

Another longshot Democratic candidate, Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz, didn’t file her petitions by Tuesday’s deadline to get on the ballot. She cited the rigorous rules for a gubernatorial candidate to file.

Candidates need at least 2,000 signatures, with at least 100 from a minimum of 10 counties.

Besides Wolf, of York County, the remaining Democratic candidates are: U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, 13th Dist., of Montgomery County; Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord, also of Montgomery County; Katie McGinty, of Chester County, another former state environmental protection secretary; and Jack Wagner, of Pittsburgh, former state auditor general.

Conservative Bob Guzzardi, of Montgomery County, will oppose Corbett in the GOP primary.

– John Guerriero

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 12th, 2014

Barring any successful challenges to petitions, the GOP and Democratic fields are now set for the May 20 primary for governor.

Six Democrats are running. The one minor surprise is that Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz did not file her nominating petitions to meet Tuesday’s deadline. The Lebanon Daily News, her hometown newspaper, reported that Litz dropped out because the signature requirements are too tough.

A candidate running for governor must gather at least 2,000 signatures, including a minimum of 100 from at least 10 counties.

A below-the-radar filing came from conservative Bob Guzzardi, of Montgomery County, who met Tuesday’s deadline to get on the ballot and will oppose Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in the primary.

Corbett will be favored to win the primary, but he now has to deal with a primary challenger instead of focusing his full attention on what is expected to be a tough re-election battle. But Guzzardi, in a post on his Facebook page, has expressed confidence. “There is more than a reasonable likelihood that I can beat Tom Corbett for the nomination. Then from May 21 to Nov. 4, it is attack, attack, attack Democrats as they have never been attack(ed).”

The GOP nominee will face one of the following Democratic candidates: Tom Wolf, of York County, former Pennsylvania revenue secretary; U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, 13th Dist., of Montgomery County; Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord, also of Montgomery County; Katie McGinty, of Chester County, and John Hanger, of Dauphin County, both former state environmental protection secretaries; or Jack Wagner, of Pittsburgh, former state auditor general.

It should make for an interesting two months.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 3rd, 2014
John Hanger/ETN file photo

John Hanger/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf is leading recent polls for the Democratic nomination for governor, but John Hanger scored a victory over the weekend.

Hanger, a former state environmental protection department secretary, received the most votes for governor in a straw poll following a debate hosted by Keystone Progress in Harrisburg. The liberal group hosted 800 progressive activists over the weekend at the Pennsylvania Progressive Summit.

“This is a very important victory. The more than 700 people attending the Progressive Summit represent the conscience of the Democratic Party and the heart of its activist community,” Hanger said in a statement.

Hanger had 31.5 percent of the vote. Here are the other results: state Treasurer Rob McCord, 24 percent; Wolf, the former state revenue department secretary, 22.8 percent; former state environmental protection department secretary Katie McGinty; Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, 9.4 percent; Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz, 0.4 percent; former state auditor general Jack Wagner, 0.1 percent; none of the above, 0.7 percent.

A total of 267 votes were cast.

The winner of the May 20 primary will take on Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in the Nov. 4 election.

For lieutenant governor, on the Democratic side, Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski got the most votes. He received 59.7 percent of the vote. Jay Paterno, son of the late football coach Joe Paterno, finished last in the straw poll, with 0.6 percent.

– John Guerriero

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 26th, 2014
Tom Wolf/AP file photo

Tom Wolf/AP file photo

Tom Wolf, a former Pennsylvania revenue department secretary, is arguably the sudden frontrunner in the Democratic race for governor.

Three new polls have given a boost to Wolf’s chance in a seven-person field for the May 20 primary.

The latest, a Franklin & Marshall College poll released today, shows Wolf with 36 percent of the vote, compared to 9 percent for 13th District Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz. Other results include 3 percent for state Treasurer Rob McCord, and 1 percent each for former state environmental protection secretaries Katie McGinty and John Hanger.

Harper Polling released its latest poll Monday showing that  Wolf, a York businessman, led the field with 40 percent of the vote. Harper said that’s a substantial jump from Wolf’s 5 percent in its November survey.

And a Quinnipiac poll gives Wolf the biggest lead among the Democrats hoping to unseat Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in the Nov. 4 election.

Wolf leads Corbett, 52 percent to 33 percent, according to the poll.

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 24th, 2014
Max Myers, ETN file photo

Max Myers, ETN file photo

And then there were seven.

Max Myers, the longshot Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania governor, has withdrawn from the race, reducing the field of Democrats by one.

“The logistical and financial challenges of moving my campaign forward have become too great to overcome,” Myers said in a statement.

Myers, a Pentecostal minister from Mechanicsburg, focused attention on the plight of the poor during his campaign. Myers’ campaign said his goal was both to improve public understanding about poverty and to engage people in using their talents to help everyone in their communities prosper.

Myers said he also was the only candidate to propose: A moratorium on fracking until gas extraction could be done safely; a commission to examine state government and make it more representative of the needs of ordinary citizens; a unique solution to the pension crisis with a financial transaction tax that allows large and permanent property tax cuts by school districts.

“I hope that these ideas, now planted in the soil of political discourse, will grow among the remaining candidates,” Myers said.

As part of his announcement tour, Myers campaigned in Erie in March 2013.  

Myers said he does not plan to run for public office again but plans to stay involved in public issues as opportunities arise. “May we never lose hope that it is possible to create a better Pennsylvania,” he said.

The remaining Democratic candidates are: Katie McGinty and John Hanger, former state environmental protection secretaries; Tom Wolf, former revenue department secretary; 13th District U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz; state Treasurer Rob McCord; former state Auditor General Jack Wagner; and Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz.

They are trying to unseat Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, who is seeking a second term.

– John Guerriero

 

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 20th, 2014
John Hanger/ETN file photo

John Hanger/ETN file photo

John Hanger, one of seven Democratic candidates for Pennsylvania governor, will meet with voters Sunday evening.

Hanger will be at Erie County Democratic Party headquarters, 1305 State St., from 5 to 7 p.m. for a meet-and-greet and fundraiser, with a suggested donation of $20.

Hanger has made some waves in the campaign with his proposal to legalize marijuana.

Hanger’s three-step plan would immediately allow medical marijuana; decriminalize possession of small
quantities by 2015; and regulate and tax it by 2017.

He also proposes to start a process to expunge the records of past marijuana convictions and dedicate part of the money raised through the taxation of legal marijuana sales to fund addiction treatment services and drug education programs.

“I am the only candidate who does not want to arrest, prosecute, and jail the approximately 2 million Pennsylvanians who use marijuana. I am the only candidate who wants to shut down the school-to-jail pipeline,” the former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection wrote in an op-ed piece for the Erie Times-News.

He also wants to go beyond accepting the federal Medicaid dollars offered under the Affordable Care Act. He wants to enact a Pennsylvania health-care plan by 2017 when the new federal law will allow states to adopt their own health-care plan. He said it would save taxing bodies in Erie County over $45 million annually.

Visit www.hangerforgovernor.com to learn more about the candidate.

Hanger is seeking his party’s nomination in the May 20 primary.  The winner will oppose Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in the Nov. 4 election.

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 7th, 2014
Tom Wolf/AP file photo

Tom Wolf/AP file photo

John Hanger/ETN file photo

John Hanger/ETN file photo

Two of the seven remaining Democratic candidates for governor will make appearances in Erie.

The public can meet Tom Wolf, former state revenue secretary, during a continental breakfast at the Avalon Hotel, 16 W. 10th St., on Feb. 15 at 8:30 a.m. Reservations can be made by calling Art Martinucci at 450-5779. The reservation deadline is Thursday.

John Hanger will make a public appearance on February 23, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Erie County Democratic headquarters, 1305 State St.

The campaign said that the fundraiser and reception will give the public a chance to meet one-on-one with Hanger, a former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and former commissioner on the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

The party primaries are May 20. The winner will go on to face Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, who is seeking a second term, in the Nov. 4 election.

– John Guerriero

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 29th, 2014

Pennsylvania political analysts Terry Madonna and Michael Young have presented a case for a path to victory  in the 2014 state Democratic gubernatorial primary.

As many as eight Democrats could be on the May 20 ballot, with the winner advancing to face Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.

Their full column, called “Politically Uncorrected,” can be found at http://politics.fandm.edu.

Madonna and Young list five key factors, including campaign cash, political geography, few issues separating the Democratic candidates, the risks of negative advertising, and gender. As many as three women could be on the ballot: Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz,  former state environmental protection Secretary Katie McGinty and Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz.

The other Democrats are:  former state Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord, former state environmental protection Secretary John Hanger, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and Pentecostal minister Max Myers.

The analysts said any serious candidate will have to spend at least $5 million and the winner will spend $10 million or more. “Politics these days is many things — but one thing it is not, is cheap,” they wrote.

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 27th, 2014
John Hanger/ETN file photo

John Hanger/ETN file photo

John Hanger billboard

Democrat John Hanger, who’s running for governor, advocates the legalization of marijuana in Pennsylvania.

And he’s not shy about it.

Billboards in Erie and Scranton, like the one here,  proclaim his position on the issue. The Erie billboard is on Interstate 79, near West 26th St.

What do you think about the platform from the former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection?

– John Guerriero

 

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 15th, 2013

There’s a reason that Gov. Tom Corbett specifically targeted U.S.  Rep. Allyson Schwartz for criticism during his campaign visit to Erie this week.

It’s early in the campaign, but Schwartz is one of the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination and the right to oppose Corbett on Nov. 4, 2014.

Allyson Schwartz/AP file photo

Allyson Schwartz/AP file photo

Harper Polling, a firm founded by Brock McCleary, formerly with the National Republican Congressional Committee, put out a new poll showing Schwartz, of Montgomery County, D-13th Dist., with 22 percent of the vote. Rival Katie McGinty, former state environmental protection secretary, was closest with 15 percent.

State Treasurer Rob McCord had 12 percent; John Hanger, former state environmental protection secretary, had 7 percent; Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski had 6 percent; and Tom Wolf, former Revenue Department secretary, had 5 percent.

Read the full poll here.

Two other candidates, May Myers, a former pastor from Mechanicsburg, and Jo Ellen Litz, a Lebanon County commissioner, were not included in the poll.

However, the poll of 649 Democrats likely to vote in the primary also showed that 34 percent weren’t sure who to pick, indicating the race is still wide open.

The poll was conducted Nov. 9-10.

– John Guerriero

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized