Northeast Times

And the race for governor is on, a year early

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 twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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