By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent
HARRISBURG – Just as soon as one election season wraps up, another begins.
This weekend, at Pennsylvania Society gatherings in New York City, the 2014 gubernatorial race will no doubt be a hot topic of discussion among the state’s politicos, business leaders, lobbyists and other insiders. The weekend’s events will also provide clear indicators of support, of the papery green kind, as Gov. Tom Corbett and others will be hosting campaign fundraisers.
Already, Pennsylvania is full of murmurings on who will run against Corbett in 2014 –yes, the election for which the primary is still practically a year and a half away, but from a candidate’s perspective, it’s not too early to start making their case.
The last few weeks witnessed a smattering of names either thrown into the hat or hovering delicately over its rim.
First out of the gate was Democrat John Hanger, former Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. Hanger, an energy expert and former Public Utilities Commission chairman, prominently announced his candidacy on a mini state tour including a stop at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg.
Another Democrat said to be considering a run against Corbett is U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, she’s hired Aubrey Montgomery, the state party’s finance director, for her own personal campaign operations. She’s also got about $3.1 million in her campaign war chest – not a bad start.
State Treasurer Rob McCord, fresh off of a successful re-election campaign and widely noted for his financial know-how, is another name Dems throw out as a possible Corbett challenger. Publicly, McCord has been relatively mum on the topic so far, but he is hosting a PA Society fundraiser Saturday at The Four Seasons, so he’s planning for something.
The Democrats aren’t the only ones who get to speculate. This past week saw speculation from Bruce Castor, a Montgomery County Commissioner. PoliticsPA broke the story that Castor, who formerly ran against Corbett in an Attorney General primary race, is mulling a gubernatorial rematch.
No incumbent has ever lost a re-election bid since 1970 when Pennsylvania governors became allowed to run for two consecutive terms.
Contact Daniels at Melissa@PAIndependent.com and follow @PAIndependent for more.