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.
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.
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. ••