Dems Fall Short of Gov Endorsement


Hershey — Rob McCord stood above the rest Saturday as he took significantly more state committee votes than any of his primary competitors.

But after a pitched fight to force an endorsement vote and a full candidate’s forum last night, the State Treasurer fell short of the 50% mark on the final ballot but doubled his nearest opponents vote total.

McCord took 154 votes on the second ballot to Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz’s 77, businessman Tom Wolf’s 59, former DEP Sec. John Hanger’s 16 and former DEP Sec. Katie McGinty’s 15.

It was a slight boost from the first ballot when McCord took 146, Schwartz 75, Wolf 52, Hanger 22, McGinty 19, and Lebanon County Commission Jo Ellen Litz 0. Cumberland County pastor Max Myers’s name was not submitted for a vote.

McCord got the most votes in every region of the state except Philadelphia, which strongly backed Schwartz.

The scuttlebutt was that Schwartz and others, fearing McCord’s popularity among state committee members, wanted to avoid the vote entirely.

Chairman Jim Burn called all 7 candidates into a meeting on Friday night to tell them that he did not want the party to make an endorsement.

All the candidates agreed – except McCord, whose longstanding state committee relationships put him in the best position to win the most votes (if not an endorsement).

But even before Burn’s edict, as McCord headed into the meeting, he was told at the door that advisor John Lisko was not allowed in; candidates only.

On entering, McCord noticed Schwartz adviser Jonathan Saidel was also present. Saidel ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2010 and remains very popular among committee members. Angry that he’s been made to keep Lisko out of the room, McCord insisted Saidel leave, too, in a tense confrontation.

Rep. Bob Brady

Rep. Bob Brady kept 49 out of his 54 delegates in line behind Schwartz. Photo by: Micah Mahjoubian

On Saturday morning, as candidates circled between regional caucus meetings, McCord went to the Philadelphia caucus. Leaders in Philly had been campaigning in favor of the effort to prevent a vote that would benefit McCord.

An angry D.A. Jones, an ally of Saidel, upbraided McCord as he went to leave the room, telling him that he owed Saidel an apology. McCord wrapped his arm around Jones and said he didn’t owe Saidel an apology. Saidel, standing a few feet away, told McCord to “get the f*ck out of here” according to Capitolwire’s Kevin Zwick. A member of Wolf’s staff had to stand in between Saidel and McCord to separate them.

On the floor Saturday, there was debate over whether to vote on an endorsement, how many times to vote on an endorsement and how to present the votes for an endorsement and after all that, the result was lackluster: there would be no Democratic endorsement for governor this year.

But ultimately no candidate reached the two-thirds vote required for an endorsement.

Though McCord won *48% of the vote, immediately following the meeting his campaign sent out a statement saying that he had won a “majority” of the votes.

Nonetheless McCord characterized the vote as a victory.

“My prediction is that no one will break 50% on May 20th either,” he quipped.

The Corbett campaign wasted no time hitting the Democrats for failing to endorse a candidate in their 7-way primary.

“There is no surprise the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee chose to support ‘none of the above’ over the seven unimpressive candidates running on an agenda that’s too extreme for Pennsylvania,” Corbett campaign manager Mike Barley said in a statement.

*Article initially said 49%

February 8th, 2014 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Governor, Top Stories | 45 Comments

45 thoughts on “Dems Fall Short of Gov Endorsement”

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  2. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @DD: Guzzardi chose not to be in the room when Corbett was being endorsed; he wasn’t excluded…and had a great time networking during the 24-hours he spent @ the Hershey Lodge.

  3. Bill-
    As for Richard, I’ll relate to you here the last three (and final) times I spoke to him, and you’ll understand why the three strikes rule is in effect.

    1) In May 2007, Joe Sestak voted for Bush’s funding of the Iraq War, without it having the conditions of accountability Joe pledged to require during his campaign. As a result, I wrote a letter to the editor of our county newspaper chastising Sestak’s betrayal of his voters and supporters. I also sent an email to the campaign asking to be removed from future contact/fundraising. Several weeks later, I got a call from Richard asking if I could come to Sestak HQ to repair a network printer that stopped working after they rearranged the office. I quoted him a price for my time and he couldn’t comprehend why I wouldn’t do it for free. He also failed to understand why I didn’t discuss Joe’s vote with them in private instead of a letter to the paper. My answer was that Joe made a public vote and violated a public promise, so he got a public response.

    2) In Sept 2007, I attended Delco Dem award breakfast/fundraiser honoring a local Dem. Joe (not the recipient) also addressed the attendees. Joe thanked the crowd and declared “It wasn’t MY victory. It was YOUR victory. I couldn’t have done it without you.” Following the speech, I bumped into Richard and asked if Joe would be hosting any fundraisers to help the Delco Dems for the 2007 races. Richard’s reply was: “Why should he? It’s not his contest. No one here did anything for him.” (direct word-for-word quote) This is the difference between the “public” Sestaks and the “private” Sestaks.

    3) In Jan 2008, Richard and I were both at the Delco Dems county convention. He was seeking petition signatures to be a delegate to the 2008 Presidential Democratic convention. He asked me for my signature and I refused. He asked why and I recited the particulars of our previous conversation and his attitude (and aspersions) in refusing to help in 2007, but now asking for help for himself. I made it pretty clear what Richard could do with his petition, pen and clipboard.

    I haven’t spoken to him since beyond a reflexive hello, head nod or grunt in passing. He and his brother are self-serving @ssholes and have repeated demonstrated that they can’t be trusted. They are so narcissistic that they are incapable of understanding why people they screwed over won’t deal with them.

    A county executive friend of mine in the western part of the state, and a McCord supporter, refused a paid job to work on the McCord campaign when he learned that Richard would be the liaison. He had dealt with the Sestaks in 2010 and had no interest in repeating the experience.

  4. David Diano says:

    “Lastly, I have found Joe Sestak and his brother Richard to be extremely approachable individuals – who are upright, truthful and honestly answer questions posed to them.”

    Then you have NO idea what you are talking about. I’ve talked to plenty of people with stories of how Sestak screwed them over, lied or betrayed them. Sestak’s M.O. is to promise you something in exchange for your support/favor/help or a deal, then when you come to ask him for his end, he manufactures some previous unspoken criteria that you failed to achieve.

    The ONLY (and mean ONLY) thing Joe is respected for is that he’s a hard worker. However, ALL of that work is only to further his own ambitions and not help the party or anyone else.

    If I’m as unimportant as you claim, then no one as any reason to kiss up to me (particularly leaders) and make up stories to appease me.

    As for Richard, he didn’t walk up to me. I was walking past a group of people he was standing with. He stuck out his hand as I passed. I didn’t even realize who he was until afterward. But, nice try.

  5. Bill says:

    Rob McCord won all the caucuses but Philly – he’s the strongest candidate with state-wide appeal. He has the money for TV, the support of labor to provide “boots on the ground”, and is the most articulate and passionate of all the candidates in debates and in front of crowds. The race is going to come down to those factors of Rob versus Tom Wolfe’s TV ad buys – should be an interesting primary. As to the other candiates, they face some difficulties securing the nomination – Allyson is viewed as a “Philly candidate” (hence her lack of support across the state), Katie is too new to the scene and lacks the funds to get her name up, and John Hanger, though strong in policy, lacks the funds as well.

    @ Reasonable Rep
    Couldn’t agree with you more about the “revisionist history” regarding the 2010 campaign. Concur 100% with you statement! I’ve posted some of this below on the Brad Kaplinski breaks 50% story.

    Joe Sestak is well-liked and respected among the state party and its various caucuses, and ran a strong campaign in 2010. To suggest otherwise is simply not true, and is being spouted by individuals with an agenda who have no direct or “insider knowledge” of what they speak of. It amazes me the lies and distortions that individuals post in the comments section that are just made-up – especially by individuals who are not state committee members and are not privy to state party discussions.

    Jim Burns and Kevin Washo, the PA Dems past Executive Director and senior adviser to Bob Casey, asked Sestak to campaign last election cycle all across the state for candidates up and down the ballot – BECAUSE Sestak was well-respected across the state, had run a strong campaign narrowly losing in a Republican “wave-year”, and was strong on the issues – a passionate advocate

    As to the coordinated campaign, it was a “cluster f*ck” because TJ Rooney and Mary Eisenhower, stepped down in the middle of the 2010 election cycle, rather than not stepping down until after the November elections – as had been promised by them to the state committee and the various campaigns. TJ and Mary had been running the coordinated campaigns since Ed Rendell’s election in 2002. Their surprise resignation greatly impacted the coordinated campaign – loss of precious time to reorganize, loss of institutional knowledge, and loss of the financial backing of Ed Rendell.

    Have a conversation with Kevin Warsho, Richard Sestak (who managed his brother’s campaign), OFA’s representatives and union leaders that were in actually in the the room for those discussions – all of them are adamant that it was Specter’s lasting gift and “shaft” – to the state party and Democratic voters that TJ and Mary “resigned” who had been backing Specter, along with Ed Rendell. TJ and Mary were not only taking with them their 8-year history of running the coordinated campaign, but more importantly, they had just walked out on every Democrat in the state! Reinventing the wheel was difficult in such a short, condensed time frame once Jim was elected Chairman and Kevin brought on board. Dan Onorato and Joe Sestak did they best they could, assisted one another and helped other candidates to the extent they could. Neither Onorato, nor Sestak ran away from the state party. Sestak ran a stronger campaign than Onorato – Onorato lost by 360,000 votes, Sestak lost by a swing of just 40,000 votes.

    Lastly, I have found Joe Sestak and his brother Richard to be extremely approachable individuals – who are upright, truthful and honestly answer questions posed to them. Richard was there at State Committee this weekend – and like his brother – is well-liked among state committee members. If you have an issue or a question about Sestak’s past campaign why don’t you ask them directly, instead of “making stuff-up”, I’ve never found them not declining to respond to any question posed to them.

    @ Dave Diano
    I believe David Diano – that Richard did walk over to you, shook your hand and said hello at State Committee – you had that chance there to discuss past issues with him regarding the campaign and to “bury the hatchet” over what ever issues you have – but obviously you chose not to, given your postings below. (David – I’m assuming that you were the individual that was wearing the blue “streaming name tag” similar to the “electronic streaming news boards” that circle Times Square buildings. One of my friends pointed you out, as Richard and you were talking – I was curious about your name tag, he knew your name).

  6. David Diano says:

    I agree that the governors race was unwinnable that year. However the Senate race was sacrificed to Sestak’s arrogance and selfishness.

  7. DemPA says:

    Even though it caused agita among some of the Philadelphia caucus – it was obviously the best political move by McCord to call for a vote.

    And if wasn’t for Chairman Brady’s nearly tearful plea for votes for Allyson (and acknowledging that there was significant support for McCord in the room), Rob McCord would have had at least another 20 – 30 votes out of Philadelphia.

    Rob’s statewide campaigning clearly showed through in his large vote count.

  8. Reasonable Rep says:

    And true as those may be, my point that they weren’t material factors in Corbett winning that election. That is to say, if the Dems fielded a stronger candidate than Onorato (even one who Sestak coordinated with), Corbett still wins. Maybe not by 10 points, but he still wins. This notion that Democrats somehow “blew” the 2010 gubenatorial campaign cannot be taken seriously. Absent any Corbett scandal, that race was a foregone conclusion very early.

  9. Reasonable Rep-
    Sestak’s campaign most certainly distanced itself from the party, the coordinated campaign and from other candidates. Sestak refused the help of former Specter supporters who offered to help in the general election.

    Also, Onorato was a weak candidate. He was unpopular in Allegheny county for some beer tax that was nicknamed the Onorato tax (and printed as such on bar receipts). He was unpopular in SE area (because he was from Allegheny and gave unsatisfactory answers on rolling back abortion restrictions).

  10. Reasonable Rep says:

    The continued revisionist history of the 2010 election on the website is amusing. Wagner did not “give you” Corbett by failing to campaign for Onorato. That wasn’t a material factor in the outcome. Neither was the Sestak campaign isolating itself from other Democratic candidates. And neither was Onorato being a weak candidate. Corbett won because he was a popular statewide officeholder with great name recognition running the biggest GOP wave year in modern electoral history. It didn’t matter who his opponent was.

    Some of you have your own agendas and want Candidate X or Candidate Y to become the Democratic nominee. Well, instead of re-writing history to fit your own poorly constructed narratives, how about pointing out some actual substantive differences between the candidates as reasons why “your boy” (or girl) should advance to the November contest instead of somebody else’s.

  11. JohnRM says:

    Well, you’re going to have to decide whether that bad four-year taste of another Corbett term is worth some small measure of revenge. That is really up to you, but you would not be hurting the candidate nearly as much as you’d be hurting Pennsylvania. If you can live with that…

  12. Marie says:

    I have never heard Rob McCord, or any of the candidates bash Allyson. As far as if your candidate does not win the primary don’t stay home and don’t support Republican’s, you mean Auditor General Jack Wagner and Representative Pete Daley who did not support Dan Onorato and elected Democrats. I can’t forgive either one of them for giving us Tom Corbett.

  13. Chris Musti says:

    I was in Hershey on Friday & Saturday of this week. As a Democrat State Committeeman – Representing Lackawanna County & Northeast Caucus Democrat Party Secretary I voted for and endorsed Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord for Governor. I ask all of my supporters in Lackawanna County to join me in voting for & supporting Rob McCord.
    Even though there was a vote on the floor to have an open primary election with no endorsement I personally felt that I drove 2 hours to Hershey to make an endorsement vote on behalf of the Democrats in Lackawanna County. You have elected me to do a job on behalf of you, and part of that job is to make a hard decisions. Part of doing that is taking a vote, and endorsing a candidate.

  14. JohnRM says:

    Well, to be fair, Schwartz leads most polls due to name recognition and the lack thereof for other candidates. You should expect that to change in the coming months.

    When it comes to a range of a issues and the Congresswoman’s political history, there can be little doubt that she has some weaknesses. Your candidate is not going to have a better chance at winning the election if that reality is ignored.

    Now, a lot of people think that any candidate can win. I would strongly caution against this kind of thinking. The polls showing each potential race read to the public as, “Tom W. Corbett versus Someone T. Else.” Many of these candidates haven’t been examined very closely. These numbers could and will easily change after the primary.

    That being said, support your candidate of choice, be civil with fellow Democrats, and be prepared to vote for someone other than your candidate of choice. The civility part is particularly important if your candidate DOES win. We don’t want people staying home just because they feel slighted.

  15. Matt says:

    The NSA votes are strictly a federal issue, to believe otherwise would be like believing in the tooth fairy. McCord is running strictly on the milquetoast, I plan on doing nothing so give it to the middle aged white guy again platform. The best the McCord backers can do is bash Schwartz and saying “blank” makes her ineligible to b governor and unelectable and Corbett gets another 4years It’s pathetic, they’ve even stooped to saying the polls citing her as the far away favorite aren’t real, a level of desperation usually reserved for our Republican friends.

    I’m not voting for a milquetoast venture capitalist, if I wanted that in the first place I would’ve voted for Mitt Romney.

  16. rhumbaman says:

    Schwartz is a DC Dem in the “Lieberman” mold; she supports NSA and opposes single payer. Corbett will trumpet her ownership of a family planning clinic and label it an abortion mill. Then it will be game over … and it will be four more years.

    McCord has the best shot at unseating Corbett and THAT is the goal.

  17. suefrompgh says:

    this is the first time pa could have its first women governor. i dont think mccord will stand a chance when we all get together and vote. the older women voters will vote schwartz. she is the one who stands up for us.

  18. Matt-
    The NSA issue is not just “federal” issue if she doesn’t respect privacy laws. The state and local governments engage in plenty of privacy violations (intrusions in phone records, stop-and-frisk, illegal searches). We need a governor who believes in privacy protections and doesn’t take law enforcement at their word that they won’t violate it.

  19. Jeremy Haloskie says:

    I said this before and could tell at the PSEA forum….

    Schwartz hates McCord!

    I think stories will come out now how they have been battling one another for a while. Schwartz just rolls her eyes at him all the time. Schwartz sees McCord as her threat. McCord sees Schwartz as vulnerable!

    This will be a bloody primary!

  20. Smarter says:

    This seems really simple. Either candidates are allowed to bring staff into a room or they aren’t. If they aren’t, then that should be true for all candidates, across the board. Anything less is not fair.

    To be honest, I would say that McCord was right in pointing out this to the room – why should only one candidate be allowed to bring staff in?

    I mean, knowing Schwartz’s.. intensity.. can you imagine how Schwartz would have reacted if McCord had been the only one to be able to bring a staffer in?

    Saidel has no right to be upset, he shouldn’t have been in a candidates meeting to begin with, and should have just laughed and left when he realized he was the only non-candidate in the room. Instead, he took things personally, which never does anybody any service and doesn’t make Democrats look good.

  21. M. Dodel says:

    More than half the State Committee wanted to have an open primary, but nowhere near 2/3 so the vote went forward. It was interesting to see the process but we are Democrats and will let democracy prevail at the polls in May. After talking to them all I will support any of these candidates. Unlike the GOTP who just sell the slot to the highest corporate sponsor. Gov Crooked had better load up on all the graft he can over the next year as he is going to need it to pay his legal bills.

  22. Bruce From Lancaster says:

    An open primary vote consideration was taken by myself but like most I decided for a vote. My reason to avoid an open primary was made after watching the Swartz supporters Fri. night push hard for an open primary. They were trying to protect her from embarrassment. The real truth to be told is that the field is now McCord, Wolf and maybe Swartz, if you remove the 49 votes Swartz has from Bob Brady she is weakest candidate with barely any statewide support. Just think about how much money and influence Brady’s votes cost her campaign and congressional office. Again just like last time Brady inserts spoilers, Anthony Williams against Joe Hoffel and now Mike Stack against Brad Koplinski as for Swartz I think Brady is just milking her for money and HER support. I was the lone Wolf supporter in our county. Going forward I think history will prove me right on this choice………..

  23. frank says:

    I hope rob mccord dont go negative on allyson schwartz pa women will make him pay.this whole primary is based on Geographic area that is why allyson leads every single pool she has philly thr biggest area.because she doesn’t seem to popular anywhere else.its gonna be tough to beat her western pa has no solid canadiate so its all about area and clearly allyson has a much bigger area.sorry guys the first women governor of pa is right around the corner.

  24. Matt says:

    McCord strictly on the “I look like all your past governors, so pick me” platform and thinks that should make him a serious candidate for the nomination. Uninspiring, milquetoast pencil pusher who would likely sit on his butt for 4 years hoping the national economy gets better so he can take credit for PA’s good fortunes, no thanks. Schwartz’s votes for the NSA are troubling but at the same time that’s a federal issue and would really mean nothing for her governor bid, she’s much more a firebrand type that could push PA in the right direction economically and socially, she has my vote barring any shenanigans.

  25. jjcnpa says:

    All of the candidates can beat Corbett except Schwartz. Let’s not forget that nationally, 2014 is a year that favors Republicans. That could change but unlikely. Many Republicans in Penn State country hate Corbett but will they vote for Schwartz? Unlikely. Also, McGinty’s record at the DEP should be explored. She wasn’t the environmentalist she claims to be. I don’t like Wolf trying to buy the election even if his policies would be progressive. McCord is the best candidate.

  26. JohnRM says:

    Schwartz is to Pennsylvania what Hillary Clinton is going to be to the nation: polarizing. I am not saying that she can’t win, but there are certainly a lot of votes that she CAN’T get.

    When I look at this field, the most sensible candidate that I see if Tom Wolf. Most of the independent voters I’ve spoken to are interested in him and want to know more. The rest of the field does not interest them. I think he is the candidate with the best chance to win the middle and even some disgruntled Republican votes.

    I love John Hanger’s enthusiasm and passion. I think he is the real deal, but marijuana just doesn’t interest me as a voter all that much and I think we have a better chance with Tom Wolf, Katie McGinty, or Rob McCord.

    Of course, no matter who we choose, I will stand with the party. I just that once the primaries are over, we can put the inevitable nastiness behind us and all stand together.

  27. Typical philly trash talk. Obviously the Brady team trying to intimidate McCord and he isn’t taking this. The negatives will start flying between McCord and Schwartz with the beneficiaries being wolf and McGinty. That is where i am putting my money.

  28. Northwest says:

    Schwartz visited the Northwest Caucus meeting this morning and kept dropping “Erie” references. Apparently she doesn’t realize there are 15 other counties in that caucus. It must be when she visited Erie she used magical glass slippers to instantly transport her there and bypass those other “unimportant” counties.

  29. BTW-
    I just noticed that Corbett has an ad on PoliticsPA: “Tom Corbett. Leading PA towards a brighter future.”

    I think Corbett has confused this with “going into the light” as he kills Pennsylvania’s future.

  30. Ryan McBride-
    The polls have shown that Rob and others clearly beat Corbett in the general. Voters know who Corbett is (and how bad he’s done) so anyone on the D side whose name is not-Corbett is going to win the general.

    I don’t think the voters are aware enough of the Dem candidates (and their differences) this early for any poll to be valid. Wolf’s the only one up with lots of TV ads and he’s getting a great response.

    I wouldn’t trust a primary poll until April, though I expect Schwartz will not get anywhere near her numbers in bogus polls from last summer.

  31. Jeff Rothschil says:

    Former Lower Merion Constable Eric Bradway will WIN The Democratic Primary for Governor

  32. Ryan McBride says:

    State Committee is an insider’s game that has little impact on average voters. Their endorsement is usually the kiss of death — ask Governor Bob Casey.

    I like Rob McCord but I support Allyson Schwartz. When all things are equal, I think we should support women candidates. Both Rob and Allyson are very qualified and would make great governors. The fact Allyson would be our first woman governor might excite voters more. Also, I don’t think there’s been a single poll that doesn’t show Allyson winning the primary or general election?

  33. Bryan-
    Clearly, Hanger has gotten the most bang-for-the-buck and been bold on the issues.

    Wolf’s a pretty decent guy who understands the working man and downtrodden. Whether his policies translate into solutions is a decision for the voters, but he’s not the kind of guy who would ignore the poor and cater to the rich donors.

    Rob is running the candidate playbook, checklist, paint-by-numbers. He knows the players and is very focused. He’s going for the “steady/stable candidate” vibe. He’s a numbers and data guy who has analyzed the race to the 5th decimal place and is implementing his plan. It’s a solid strategy. (though it might not be a winning strategy, it best fits Rob).

    I agree on Schwartz. Her NSA vote turned off a lot of Dems.

    I wouldn’t count McGinty out. She’ll have a lot of appeal to the anti-Philly crowd in the western counties.

  34. Bryan says:

    It’s early on but…..

    McCord is the quintessential PC answer candidate who seems better at schmoozing people than taking action. Pass until I see more.

    Pass on Washington bred Schwartz and do-nothing McGinty.

    Wolf seems like a good guy and is intriguing but I am skeptical on whether or not his family business experience will translate into a considerably better PA economy.

    Hanger is the guy I will be watching: bold, well-spoken on the issues, has fought for the common man in the past, and has made his stances public. Has also arguably made more of an impact than the other candidates with considerably less support, exposure, and resources.

  35. Mark Schmidt-
    Wake up and smell the democracy.

    McCord is from Montgomery county (that’s in SE PA and touches Philly). It’s a Democratic majority and controlled county (finally). Rob’s pretty liberal (though not pony-tail, tie-dye t-shirt and sandals).

    Wagner is not jumping into this race. He didn’t even show up at state committee and has no infrastructure in place nor enough money this late in the game. He lost his race for Mayor of Pittsburgh. He’s not running against this year’s field.

    Peggy- Hanger is a gentleman too.

  36. Peggy says:

    Rob McCord is a class act. Anyone who was at his reception last night knows that. Rob did not us the “F” Bomb Jonathan did. If you ask me that is the scum of the earth, I would have been offended to hear the F Bomb. There are actually two class acts running for Governor – Rob McCord and Tom Wolf! Both are gentlemen.

  37. steveinpa says:

    i cant wait til jack wagner jumps in the race and all but destroys mccords doubt he is harrisburgs choice i guess thats why he is not so well known across the state.wagner will announce next week.

  38. Mark Schmidt says:

    I have no idea who McCord even is. Is this guy another western PA hack like our last candidate for governor who was so bland that no one showed up to vote? We need a LIBERAL in PA, not some party suck ass.

    I guess we don’t have one.

  39. Rob-
    Who would go for a Lt Gov deal?
    Rob certainly wouldn’t.
    Wolf’s gaining popularity and has skin in the game.
    Schwartz still thinks she’s in lead.
    Hanger’s in it for the long hall.
    No one’s going to push Litz or Meyers to run for Lt. Gov

    That leaves McGinty. I can see Schwartz pushing for that, which would leave Schwartz as the only female candidate. None of the Lt Gov candidates have a lot of money, so McGinty would be the big (cash) fish in that small pond and be the only one who could actually get on TV or afford field operations.

    That said, I don’t see McGinty eager to drop out of the Gov race. But, securing the Lt Gov position would a less risky proposition with a high likelihood of success. Also, her money added to the General election race would be more substantial than what the current Lt. Govs have to contribute to the ticket. So, I understand the motivations to move her to the Lt. Gov slot.

    I’ll file this under INTERESTING.

    As for Progressive Summit, it’s a good event for progressives. Keystone Progressive has changed it’s status and can now endorse/support candidates. I don’t know the reach of their network, but you have to figure that Dem Primary election voters will have a higher % of progressive voters than a general election with less hardcore Dems.

    I do agree that the election will be won on message. Hanger’s message is as good as the others, but he’s going to have to use grassroots to get his message out. Also, I think newspaper endorsements have an impact on voters who haven’t followed the race and changing landscape.

    Saidel is pretty fun and easy-going. But, he’s also a hardcore political operator. I can see him losing his cool when he feels his weak candidate is threatened.

  40. CentPADem says:

    The biggest problem in the party is Brady and a few from Philly think they can decide who the rest of the state wants. Look at how he has screwed things up in recent statewide races. Specter in 2010 – loses to Sestak in May primary then Sestak loses close race to Toomey. Dems should have rejected Specter’s desperate attempt to keep his seat. Also in 2010, they thought they had Saidel as a lock for Lt Gov and Conklin swooped in an won the Primary. Then last year they thought they had Joe Waters in for judge but McVay took the primary. Now they are trying to get Schwartz through and she is exactly who Corbett and the Repubs want.

    If McCord stood up to them today, it just proves he won’t take any crap from Corbett and the Repubs in the fall.

  41. Marie says:

    Rob McCord is a gentleman. I don’t blame him for being upset. If Allyson can bring her person in the room, why can’t Rob? Rob McCord will make mincemeat of Tom Corbett in November!

  42. steveinpa says:

    rob mccord shows pa he is such a class act.if you cant get along with jonathan sadiel you got big problems.

  43. Rob says:

    Don’t be surprised if one of the current candidates for Governor decides to run or Lt. Gov. instead after a deal is cut. Several people with a lot of influence in that person’s campaign were working on that deal before today, but now have kicked it into high gear since there was no endorsement for either Governor or Lt. Gov. today. I’m not saying this will happen, but attempts are being made, and they MAY be successful.

    Nothing that happened today was surprising. Wolf received a few more votes than expected and McCord received a few less than expected. Nobody expected anybody to come close to an endorsement for Governor. Because nothing that happened today was surprising, and they decided not to decide, nothing that happened was important.

    Nothing that happens at the PA Progressive Summit will matter. If Hanger is endorsed, the event will cement its place as irrelevant. Hanger cannot win, and it’s likely he will finish in 4th or 5th place if he is on the May ballot.

    The things that matter will be how well a candidate’s message resonates, and if that candidate has enough money to express that message adequately to voters. Only four candidates have a realistic chance of winning the primary: Schwartz, McCord, McGinty, and Wolf. I’m not predicting that will be the order of finish, but the Democratic nominee will come from those four candidates. Every politico worth a dime has known that for months, and it was cemented by the campaign finance reports.

  44. “The scuttlebutt was that Schwartz and others, fearing McCord’s popularity among state committee members, wanted to avoid the vote entirely.” more than scuttlebutt apparently.

    I really love the inside info on the tension between McCord and Saidel. If Lisko was excluded, then McCord had every right to demand the removal of Saidel. I feel sorry for Jim Burn having to put up with it all.

    I can understand Philly caucus (Allyson supporters) wanting to exclude McCord. Brady backed Allyson, so every Philly vote that Rob pulls makes him look weaker (The heck with Allyson, as Brady knows she ain’t getting the most votes anyway, but Bob has to maintain his image of power.)

    I think it’s funny that Wolf’s team had to get in the middle. It may be ironic if Wolf winds up beating them both.

    Saidel tends to speak his mind (and I’ve said far worse speaking mine). However, the Schwartz campaign seems desperate. Their early lead (when Rob hadn’t even declared) has evaporated and pretty much all the candidates are shown beating Corbett in the polls. Schwartz’s campaign is sinking faster than a bag full of unwanted kittens and a heavy rock.

    My analysis (reposted from earlier thread).

    1) Rob is clearly the party’s PA establishment candidate. Schwartz is more of a Washington establishment candidate (or Philly establishment candidate). Rob is playing chess. Schwartz’s team is eating checkers.

    2) Wolf is a bit of an outsider candidate who has caught on. I’d say his money, viability and popular ads are big factors.

    3) Hanger and McGinty are anti-establishment and outsider candidates. State-committee is an insider’s game, and there isn’t a high correlation between state committee votes and election outcomes.

    Three months from now, when the newspapers interview and endorse candidates, today’s vote isn’t going to come up. (Well, Rob might bring it up one or twice. 🙂 )

    While Rob did not secure the endorsement, it was clearly his day. At the end of the month is the PA Progressive Summit. I’d expect the results there to be a flip of today’s results and Hanger and McGinty to shine. Wolf’s peace-corps background will play well there, too.

    The election is still 3 months away. I don’t see today’s vote having any influence over the 1 million voters expected to show up on May 20th (or the stoners on May 21st asking, “when’s that election?”)

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t comment on team Corbett’s response:
    1) I heard from a reporter who attended last week’s event that Bob Guzzardi was excluded from the event and kept in the hallway. Making Corbett’s “unanimous” endorsement even more meaningless than it already was.
    2) The Dems didn’t chose “none of the above”. They realized that “all of the above” could kick Corbett’s @ss in November. They just couldn’t get a 2/3 majority to pick who would do the kicking. The voters can handle that task just fine.
    3) Mike Barley thinks the Dems? are to extreme for PA? Considering that only 23% of Pennsylvanians think Corbett deserves re-election, I don’t think Mr. Barley realizes that he’s not doing a good job as turd-polisher for Corbett’s record.

  45. Roger Cohen says:

    Let’s hope Mr. McCord keeps his cool a little better in the months ahead. We don’t want him punching out any Democrats.

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