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 ‘Tom Wolf’
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 31st, 2014
Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Fresh from a visit to the Vatican last week, Gov. Tom Corbett is turning to his fellow Catholics for help in his bid for re-election.

Corbett will announce “Catholics for Corbett-Cawley” on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley is Corbett’s running mate.

The campaign plans to organize Catholics across the state to support the Corbett-Cawley ticket.

Corbett, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and others in a delegation from Pennsylvania greeted Pope Francis at his public audience in St. Peter’s Square. They invited him to Philadelphia in September 2015 for the Vatican-sponsored Eighth World Meeting of Families, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

PoliticsPA reported that it’s unclear whether the pontiff will visit Philadelphia, but the online political website said the governor got “valuable face-time with the world leader.” PoliticsPA said that about 30 percent of Pennsylvanians are Catholic.

Corbett might need every bit of that Catholic support, and more, if he hopes to win a second term.

He is considered vulnerable. In fact, the Washington Post’s “The Fix” column considers Corbett the “most vulnerable governor in the country.” The column noted that a recent Quinnipiac University poll showed voters believe he doesn’t deserve reelection by 55-34 percent.

Former state revenue secretary Tom Wolf has emerged as the Democratic frontrunner among four Democratic candidates, and he led the incumbent 52-33 in the same poll. The Fix’s response: “Ouch.”

– 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 10th, 2014
Tom Wolf/AP file photo

Tom Wolf/AP file photo

The new frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for governor in Pennsylvania had a big weekend.

Tom Wolf, a York County businessman who leads the race in the most recent polls, picked up endorsements from 17 elected officials and 24 local party officials in the Pittsburgh region.

Among those endorsing Wolf are U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, of Pittsburgh, D-14th Dist.; Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald; Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto; and Allegheny County Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Mills.

Wolf, a former state revenue department secretary, said in a statement that he is humbled to have the support, and “I am thrilled to join with them to fight for a fresh start for Pennsylvania.

“These great leaders are working together to rebuild western Pennsylvania’s economy and strengthen the middle class. Their vision and efforts to revitalize Pittsburgh and Allegheny County is exactly the model I will follow as governor, and with them, I know we can be successful,” he said.

The western Pennsylvania support is considered important for a candidate with roots in eastern Pennsylvania.

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

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized

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