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.
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Posts tagged ‘Rob McCord’
Posted: April 17th, 2014
Political analyst Terry Madonna/ETN file photo

Political analyst Terry Madonna/ETN file photo

Statewide political analysts Terry Madonna and Michael Young say that the Democratic primary for governor is finally moving into high gear.

“Over the next several weeks, Pennsylvania voters will be treated (if that’s the word) to a veritable barrage of political ads, press releases, debates and other assorted arcana of political campaigns heading for the wire,” they wrote in the “Politically Uncorrected” column. The full column can be read at

The Democrats in the race are Tom Wolf, Allyson Schwartz, Rob McCord and Katie McGinty. The winner of the May 20 primary will face either Gov. Tom Corbett or Robert Guzzardi, though Corbett is favored to win the GOP primary.

Corbett, however, is one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the nation. And Madonna and Young wrote that “few are betting” that Corbett could win a second term.

However, they said with GOP control likely to remain in the state House and Senate, constituents could expect a Washington, D.C.-style gridlock with a Democratic governor and Republican Legislature.

“Pennsylvania’s 2014 gubernatorial election will not end these battles. They will go on. They might even get worse,” they wrote.

“But this neither makes the election irrelevant or unimportant. Things will not change in Pennsylvania or nationally until the electorate decides to change them. The 2014 gubernatorial (election) could be the catalyst that sparks that change — the moment where voters collectively say ‘enough!’”

– John Guerriero


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: April 16th, 2014

gop3Gov. Tom Corbett will have a primary challenger after all.

Commonwealth Court Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt has denied a challenge to the validity of Montgomery County Republican Robert Guzzardi’s nominating petitions. That means Republicans will have a choice between Corbett and Guzzardi, a lawyer and businessman.

Corbett is considered to be among the nation’s most vulnerable incumbents, though he will be favored to win the GOP nomination.

The winner of the May 20 primary will face one of these four Democrats in the Nov. 4 election: 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; and Katie McGinty, of Chester County, a former state environmental protection secretary.– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: April 7th, 2014

The Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) will air live coverage of a Democratic gubernatorial candidates debate Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The debate will be held on the Harrisburg campus of Widener University School of Law.

PCN is joining with the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents’ Association and the Widener University School of Law, Law and Government Institute for the debate.

Democratic gubernatorial candidates Katie McGinty, Allyson Schwartz and Tom Wolf will take questions from a panel of PLCA representatives. PCN President Brian Lockman will moderate.

The fourth Democrat in the race, Rob McCord, cannot attend due to a scheduling conflict, PCN said.

Viewers can share their thoughts or ask questions at the end of the debate by calling toll-free 1-877-726-5001 during a live call-In program at 8:30 p.m.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: April 4th, 2014
Rob McCord/ETN file photo

Rob McCord/ETN file photo

Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord has received another endorsement in his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor.

McCord, one of four Democrats in the May 20 primary, got the nod from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 47.

McCord thanked AFSCME for its endorsement, saying he was honored.

“A union helped my mom when I was a little boy, and I was raised to remember that well-run unions often defend working people who would otherwise be mistreated and forgotten. Well, a McCord administration will not forget Pennsylvania’s working families – especially when it comes to raising the minimum wage, defending pensions, stopping the natural gas drillers from taking our resources for pennies on the dollar, and reversing Tom Corbett’s $1 billion in cuts to public education,” McCord said in a statement.

AFSCME District Council 47 President Fred Wright said in a statement: “We believe Treasurer McCord is the best candidate to represent the interests of working people in Pennsylvania. His vision to create jobs, commitment to retain decent paying jobs, as well as his experience is what we believe will provide the necessary skill set to move our state forward.

“We are pleased to join other members of organized labor, the Black Clergy of Philadelphia, and others in the city and the southeast region that have endorsed Treasurer McCord. We plan to campaign for him and financially support his campaign. We encourage others to do the same,” Wright said.

AFSCME District Council 47 includes about 7,500 active and retired public service employees in the Philadelphia region. Its membership includes social workers, nurses, probation officers, direct care professionals, and other professions.

McCord is running against Tom Wolf, a former state revenue department secretary; Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz; and Katie McGinty, a former state environmental protection secretary, in the primary.

The winner likely will face Gov. Tom Corbett, who’s seeking a second term, in the Nov. 4 election.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: April 3rd, 2014
Tom Wolf/AP file photo

Tom Wolf/AP file photo

Tom Wolf must like what he sees from the pre-primary polls so far.

Wolf, a former state revenue department secretary, continues to lead Democrats in the four-person gubernatorial primary field, according to the latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll released this morning.

Wolf, a York County businessman, leads with 33 percent, followed by Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, 7 percent; state Treasurer Rob McCord, 6 percent; and Katie McGinty, a former state environmental protection secretary, 1 percent.

But there is hope for those trailing.

Nearly half, 46 percent, did not give a preference for governor in the May 20 primary.

Television commercials are having an effect in the race, according to the poll of 524 registered Democrats who were questioned March 25-31.

Seven in 10 Democrats have seen a TV commercial for one of the Democrats. Of those who have seen a commercial, 85 percent have seen a commercial for  Wolf, 42 percent have seen one for McCord and 39 percent have seen a McGinty commercial.

Education (31 percent) remains the top issue for Democrats when they consider what candidate to support, followed by the economy or the job market, 19 percent.

On national politics, nearly six in 10 Democrats rate President Barack Obama’s job performance as excellent, 17 percent, or good, 41 percent. But four in 10 rate his performance as fair, 25 percent, or poor, 17 percent, according to the poll.

Hillary Clinton swamps Vice President Joe Biden in a potential presidential primary matchup in 2016: 55 percent to 5 percent.

For the full poll results, see

– John Guerriero





Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 24th, 2014

With the May 20 Pennsylvania primary drawing closer, it’s debate time again.

The Pennsylvania Cable Network, PCN, will air live coverage of the Pennsylvania College Democrats gubernatorial debate from Temple University in Philadelphia. The debate will be Friday at 7 p.m.

Expected to participate are Democratic candidates Rob McCord, Katie McGinty, Allyson Schwartz, Jack Wagner and Tom Wolf.

Viewers will get a chance to share their thoughts or ask questions at the end of the debate by calling toll-free 1-877-726-5001 during a live PCN call-in program at 9 p.m. Charlie Gerow of Quantum Communications and Tony May of Triad Strategies will be the featured guests.

The debate will re-air Friday at 10 p.m. To view other Election 2014 programming online, visit

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
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 6th, 2014
Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

The polls haven’t shown much love for Gov. Tom Corbett’s re-election chances.

And that trend continued today.

The Robert Morris University Polling Institute shows Corbett with  low approval ratings, with few state residents saying they plan to vote for him in the Nov. 4 election. The survey of 501 likely Pennsylvania voters showed that only 29.4 percent hold a favorable impression of the incumbent. The job approval rating for  Corbett, who’s seeking a second term, is 32.5 percent.

Among likely Democratic voters, the leaders were: Tom Wolf, 51.4 percent; Allyson Schwartz, 17.3 percent, Rob McCord, 13.3 percent, and Katie McGinty, 9.2 percent. Just 20.7 percent of those surveyed suggest they plan to vote for Corbett, while 40.3 percent indicated they would vote for the Democratic candidate. Another 12.3 percent would vote for another candidate, while 27% are undecided.

Just 18.6 percent expect Corbett to be re-elected.

“Likely voters have a poor impression of Gov. Corbett overall, across many demographic categories. The governor has even lost a segment of Republican voters too — while 49 percent of Republican likely voters have a good impression of the governor, 36 percent of Republicans have an unfavorable impression,”  Robert Morris political scientist Philip Harold said in a statement.

An open-ended question asked respondents their reason for their impression of Corbett.  When Republican likely voters were asked why they have an unfavorable impression of Corbett, they tended to respond that his record of accomplishments disappointed them, that they expected more from him and that Pennsylvania is not better off now as a result of his leadership.

“Even those voters who favor the governor gave responses that were not enthusiastic, but rather saying that he is doing the best he can do under the circumstances, that he is trying to hold the line on spending, and that he is better than the alternative,” Harold said.

On the question of marijuana, the poll found that a majority of Pennsylvanians, 56.1 percent,  support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

The poll was sponsored by Trib Total Media.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 5th, 2014
Rob McCord/ETN file photo

Rob McCord/ETN file photo

In case you missed it, Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord said he would boost the state’s minimum wage if he’s elected governor.

McCord, one of seven Democrats seeking his party’s nomination in the May 20 primary, pledged to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.70 in his first year in office.

“Today, too many Pennsylvanians are working twice as hard to get half as far,” McCord said in a statement.

“I know what it’s like to suffer from wage insecurity because my mom lived through it. A family that works hard and plays by the rules should not be living in poverty. That’s why my minimum wage proposal lifts more than 16,000 working families out of poverty my first year in office. It also gives our state’s sputtering economy a shot in the arm by increasing the purchasing power of thousands of families across the Commonwealth and reducing the number of Pennsylvanians relying on government assistance,” he said.

McCord’s plan would: Immediately increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.70 in 2015, with an annual increase of 10 cents through 2024; raise the tipped minimum wage from $2.83 to $5 in 2015, with 10 cent increases for the first 10 years; keep a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for student employees; and set annual increases, based on the rate of inflation, to the minimum wage, tipped minimum wage, and student minimum wage rates.

– John Guerriero


Posted in: Uncategorized

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