One year before the Pennsylvania primaries, Democrats in the Keystone State eyeing a challenge to Republican Gov. Tom Corbett next year are already campaigning hard.
At the Democratic State Committee meeting last weekend held in traditionally Republican Lancaster County, four of the six likely candidates for the Democratic nomination came by to line up support.
Among those at the meeting were state Treasurer Rob McCord, millionaire businessman Tom Wolf, former State Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger and minister Max Myers. Not at the committee meeting were Rep. Allyson Schwartz, considered the front-runner in the Democratic pack, and former state Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen McGinty.
Already, Lancaster Democrats are lining up behind favorite candidates to oppose the Republican governor that many of them call "One-term Tom." State Rep. Mike Sturla is in Wolf's camp, and Lancaster County Democratic Committee chairwoman Sally Lyall is a McCord booster.
Virtually all polls show Corbett trailing most of the Democratic hopefuls, his unpopularity the result of tough budget cuts and the still-lingering stench of the state's handling of the scandal surrounding former Penn State assistant athletic director Jerry Sandusky.
But Republican activists are united behind the governor and he is unopposed for re-nomination.
"Tom Corbett has passed two balanced budgets on time and will do so again this year with the help of the Republican-led General Assembly," Lancaster County Republican Chairman Ann Womble told Newsmax. "He knows where to invest more hardworking taxpayers' dollars for our growing needs, and where to turn over nonessential government functions to the private sector. None of these Democrats can, will, or wants to."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax
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