John Hanger, former secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection, last week announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Hanger hopes to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in 2014.
At least one other Democrat is expected to enter the race. Most of the speculation centers on Rob McCord, the state treasurer. Other possibilities include Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, outgoing Auditor General Jack Wagner, former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak and Tom Wolf, a businessman from York and former secretary of the state Department of Revenue.
Hanger, a lawyer from Hershey, served in the administration of former Gov. Ed Rendell. He’s also a former member of the state Public Utility Commission, nominated by then-Gov. Bob Casey. Hanger made his announcement on Nov. 28 at Reading Terminal Market.
During the campaign, Hanger will stress what he calls the “four Es:” experience, education, energy and the environment. He favors gay marriage, abortion and medical marijuana use. He faults Corbett for, among other things, failing to make charter schools accountable and he questions some of the aspects of the former state attorney general’s investigation into convicted sex offender Jerry Sandusky.
“I will have a broad economic development strategy that invests in transportation, water lines, sewer systems and that partners with the private sectors in medicine, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. This policy will increase the rate of job creation in Pennsylvania,” he said.
Mayfair’s Joe DeFelice last week was named one of the state’s top 20 political operatives by the Web site PoliticsPA.
The list was based on conversations with dozens of politicos from across Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.
DeFelice, a lawyer, is the Philadelphia director of the Pennsylvania Republican Party. He is also president of the Mayfair Civic Association, chairman of the Mayfair Community Development Corporation and an active member of the Mayfair Business Association and Mayfair Town Watch.
In 2008, he criticized the presence of menacing New Black Panther Party members outside a Fairmount polling place and has worked to uncover cases of voter fraud in recent years.
“He’s got his ear to the ground and knows what’s going on across the city at any time. All of Pa.’s statewide Republican leadership — Gov. Corbett, Sen. Toomey, Chairman Gleason — are pushing the long-complacent Philly GOP to be more formidable; DeFelice is their man working to making it happen,” the Web site wrote.
Former City Councilman Ed Schwartz died last week of an apparent heart attack. He was 69 and lived in East Mount Airy.
Schwartz, a Democrat, won an at-large seat in 1983. He lost a re-election bid in 1987.
He was the founder of the Institute for the Study of Civic Values, headed the city Office of Housing and Community Development for five years after losing his Council seat and chaired the city Tax Reform Commission in 2003.
A couple of years ago, Schwartz was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He frequently attended Council’s weekly Thursday sessions. A moment of silence was held in his memory at the start of the Nov. 29 session.
Council President Darrell Clarke extended condolences to Schwartz’s wife Jane and the rest of his family.
“Councilman Schwartz was the classic neighborhood activist who, once in public office, expanded his megaphone broadly so that many other voices could be heard,” Clarke said. “He was able to transform his activism into sound public policy on a number of issues, particularly with regard to housing. He understood better than most in this business that Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods, and that all are worthy of our care and attention.” ••
Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215-354-3034 or firstname.lastname@example.org