Northeast Times

Schwartz enters governor’s race

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz on Monday entered the gov­ernor’s race, un­veil­ing a new cam­paign web­site and Face­book page, ap­pear­ing on Rachel Mad­dow’s show on MS­N­BC and fil­ing pa­per­work in Har­ris­burg to start a state cam­paign com­mit­tee.

Schwartz will not have a clear path to the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­a­tion to chal­lenge Gov. Tom Corbett. Three oth­ers have already an­nounced their can­did­a­cies, and a half-dozen oth­ers are mulling bids.

Schwartz was elec­ted to the Pennsylvania Sen­ate in 1990 and to Con­gress in 2004. She lost the 2000 primary for U.S. Sen­ate.

In the state Sen­ate, she helped es­tab­lish the Chil­dren’s Health In­sur­ance Pro­gram. 

In run­ning statewide, she will tell Demo­crats that she has won races in a 13th Con­gres­sion­al dis­trict that is com­prised of the blue-col­lar neigh­bor­hoods in the North­east and fisc­ally mod­er­ate Mont­gomery County.

If she sur­vives the primary, she will need mod­er­ate voters to oust Corbett. She’ll point to an “Eco­nom­ic Pat­ri­ot Award” she re­ceived last Oc­to­ber from the fisc­ally con­ser­vat­ive Con­cord Co­ali­tion for vot­ing for a pro­posed budget that fea­tured spend­ing cuts and tax re­form.

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A poll taken for Tom Wolf, a wealthy York County busi­ness­man and former sec­ret­ary of the state De­part­ment of Rev­en­ue, shows the Demo­crat­ic primary for gov­ernor to be up for grabs.

Green­berg Quin­lan Ros­ner Re­search in­ter­viewed 602 likely 2014 Demo­crat­ic primary voters.

Former con­gress­man Joe Ses­tak led the way with 21 per­cent, fol­lowed by Allyson Schwartz (16 per­cent) and state Treas­urer Rob Mc­Cord (7 per­cent).

Wolf took 3 per­cent, along with Katie Mc­Ginty, a Rhawn­hurst nat­ive who served as sec­ret­ary of the state De­part­ment of En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion.

State Sen. Mike Stack had 2 per­cent. At 1 per­cent were John Hanger, a former DEP sec­ret­ary, and Tom Knox, a Phil­adelphia busi­ness­man and 2007 may­or­al can­did­ate.

Knox an­nounced last week that he would not run for gov­ernor, but that he might enter the 2015 may­or­al race.

The only de­clared can­did­ates in the race are Wolf, Schwartz, Hanger and Max My­ers, a pas­tor, busi­ness­man and au­thor from Cum­ber­land County.

My­ers was not in­cluded in the poll, nor were two oth­er po­ten­tial can­did­ates, state Sen. Tim So­lobay and Al­lentown May­or Ed Pawlowski.

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Proudly wear­ing the la­bel of a “lib­er­al li­on,” state Sen. Daylin Leach last week launched his cam­paign for the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict seat.

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a Demo­crat, holds the seat, but is run­ning for gov­ernor.

In an April 2 con­fer­ence call with re­port­ers, the Up­per Merion Demo­crat said he de­cided to enter the con­gres­sion­al race be­fore Schwartz form­ally de­clared for gov­ernor be­cause he needs to raise money and reach out to voters.

Leach will have com­pet­i­tion in the May 2014 primary.

Oth­er pos­sible con­tenders in­clude former City Con­trol­ler Jonath­an Saidel, Mont­gomery County Com­mis­sion­er Josh Sha­piro, state Reps. Brendan Boyle and Mark Co­hen, state Sens. Mike Stack and LeAnna Wash­ing­ton and Dr. Val Arkoosh, a health-care re­form ad­voc­ate.

Leach said his polit­ic­al con­sult­ant, Aren Platt, is the best in the state. The can­did­ate won’t en­gage in neg­at­ive cam­paign­ing against his op­pon­ents.

“They’re all good people,” he said.

Leach said he does not ex­pect geo­graphy to be the over­rid­ing is­sue, ar­guing that people in the North­east and Mont­gomery County share the same con­cerns about the eco­nomy.

Sha­piro is con­sidered by some to be the strongest po­ten­tial can­did­ate, though Leach guesses he will not run. Leach said he and Boyle joked about their mu­tu­al in­terest in the race on last month’s Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tion of Great­er Phil­adelphia-sponsored trip to Is­rael.

Leach, 51, grew up in the North­east. He lived with his mom and eld­erly grand­moth­er, and an in­tro­duct­ory video on his cam­paign web­site shows his first home at 6812 Kindred St. in Castor Gar­dens.

For a time, he lived in foster homes and at­ten­ded vari­ous schools, such as Car­nell, Spru­ance, Sol­is-Co­hen and Far­rell. He spent time at Max My­ers Play­ground and Samuel Pa­ley day care cen­ter, and cred­its great teach­ers and pub­lic lib­rar­ies with help­ing him as a youth.

“Edu­ca­tion meant everything to me,” he said.

A law­yer and mar­ried fath­er of two, he was elec­ted to the state House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives in 2002 and the Sen­ate in 2008. Since the con­gres­sion­al race falls in the middle of his four-year term, he will not have to give up his seat.

The cam­paign video shows Leach stat­ing his op­pos­i­tion to the voter iden­ti­fic­a­tion bill on Al Sharpton’s MS­N­BC show, de­clar­ing that he first in­tro­duced a same-sex mar­riage bill in 2009 and tak­ing pride in an F rat­ing from the NRA.

Schwartz is the only wo­man in the Pennsylvania con­gres­sion­al del­eg­a­tion, but Leach doesn’t think gender should be an is­sue in the Con­gres­sion­al race.

  In fact, he de­scribed him­self as a “cham­pi­on” on wo­men’s rights is­sues. He noted his sup­port for abor­tion, con­tra­cep­tion and fam­ily leave and op­pos­i­tion to hu­man traf­fick­ing and shack­ling preg­nant pris­on­ers.

“My re­cord is second to none on wo­men’s rights,” he said. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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