Former Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper will not run for Governor, but will seek the office of Erie County Executive instead.
She confirmed the switch to the Erie Reader, which has the scoop:
“I would like to confirm and clarify my plans. I intend to run for Erie County Executive this year,” Dahlkemper wrote. “I have spent recent months pursuing various options, including a run for [Pennsylvania] Governor. I have decided that serving the people of northwest Pennsylvania as county executive affords me the greatest opportunity to help advance the region I love so much.”
She said she’ll make an official announcement on March 4. Current Executive Barry Grossman (D) has also said he will seek another term. The office is up in 2013.
A businesswoman who operated a major landscaping firm, Dahlkemper served in Congress for one term from 2009 to 2011. She’d been floating her name for Gov since Pa. Society weekend in December.
Her departure from the Governor’s race doesn’t shorten the list of prospective candidates; more than 10 declared and prospective candidates remain. But she was the only woman running besides Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Montco). She was also one of just three possible candidates from western Pa., leaving a potential vacuum in the Democratic primary (the others are former Auditor General Jack Wagner and state Sen. Tim Solobay).