Don’t Forget Me, Says Knox; Hires Keel

Tom Knox

Tom Knox. Photo: Philly.com

In all the hustle and bustle surrounding Rep. Allyson Schwartz and Treasurer Rob McCord and whether they’ll run for Governor (they will), businessman Tom Knox is concerned that voters will overlook the fact that he, too, has floated his name for the office.

Today, Knox sought to win a spot back on the short list when he hired veteran campaigner Frank Keel.

Said his press release: “The move signals Knox’s serious intent to mount another campaign for political office, although which office Knox may be seeking remains under wraps.  He has previously expressed interest in a run against incumbent Republican Governor Tom Corbett.”

Knox ran briefly for Governor in 2010 but dropped out before the primary. He ran for Philadelphia Mayor in 2007. He made millions on the business side of the insurance industry. He suggested another Guv run in August.

Keel is a spokesman for IBEW Local 98 in Philly, one of the state’s most muscular labor unions. He did work for Attorney General Kathleen Kane in 2012. He primarily got his start working for Mayor John Street in the early 1990s.

“It’s no secret that I still have a strong desire to hold elective office because I know how to streamline government and improve people’s quality of life,” said Knox in a statement. “Tom Corbett has failed the people of Pennsylvania and I am taking a very serious look at challenging him.”

With all the Democrats currently running or considering running against Corbett, it’s onerous even for a niche political website like PoliticsPA to name them all in every news item about the Guv’s race – not to mention potential GOP challenger Bruce Castor.

Here’s the full press release, sent under the subject heading “Tom Knox News”.

BUSINESSMAN AND FORMER PHILADELPHIA MAYORAL CANDIDATE TOM KNOX ANNOUNCES HIRING OF VETERAN PUBLICIST AND CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FRANK KEEL

Move Signals Knox’s Intention To Mount Another Campaign For Political Office

PHILADELPHIA, PA —  Tom Knox, the self-made millionaire businessman from Philadelphia who finished a close second to Michael Nutter in the 2007 Democratic Mayoral Primary, today announced the hiring of veteran publicist and campaign communications director Frank Keel.  The move signals Knox’s serious intent to mount another campaign for political office, although which office Knox may be seeking remains under wraps.  He has previously expressed interest in a run against incumbent Republican Governor Tom Corbett.

“It’s no secret that I still have a strong desire to hold elective office because I know how to streamline government and improve people’s quality of life,” said Knox.  “Tom Corbett has failed the people of Pennsylvania and I am taking a very serious look at challenging him.  Pennsylvanians are disillusioned with Corbett’s failed leadership and are rightly seeking a change.  Corbett’s dismal job approval ratings provide testament to voters’ apathy towards rewarding him a second term.  I could mount a very formidable campaign against him.  However, other opportunities for political office have recently emerged and I am carefully weighing those options.   Determining the clearest path to victory is certainly a factor in my decision-making process, but it’s not as important to me as pursuing the position that would allow me to do the most good for people.  The hiring of Frank Keel, a talented pro whom I’ve known and worked with for years, is an important first step in this exciting journey, no matter the ultimate destination.”

Keel’s most recent political campaign work was on behalf of Attorney General-Elect Kathleen Kane.  He also recently handled communications responsibilities for the successful campaigns of incumbent U.S. Representative Lou Barletta (PA-11th) and State Representative Ed Neilson (PA -169th).  Previous campaign work included Bobby Henon for City Council (2011), Tom Knox for Mayor (2007), Jack Kelly for City Council (2007), and John Street for Mayor (2003), among many others.  Keel also served as Communications Director for the City of Philadelphia under former Mayor John F. Street (2002).

February 25th, 2013 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Governor, Top Stories | 5 Comments

5 thoughts on “Don’t Forget Me, Says Knox; Hires Keel”

  1. Frank says:

    Western Democrats had their chance in 2010 with Dan Onorato-it is the East Coast’s turn-or maybe the Southeast collar counties, who have demonstrated their ability to get out the vote for Democrats-it is winnable with the right candidate.

  2. brrrrdat says:

    LOL did he really say what office he was running for was “under wraps” in his own press release?? I could think of another adjective aside from “veteran” for this Keel guy

  3. SEPAPolitico says:

    This man is such a clueless candidate as to somehow always posture to run, yet spend real $$ to do so. All this while he is inevitably ushered into the “also-rans” column as soon as the Democrats find a moment to let him know no one cares about his (semi-) annual ego-thon anymore.

  4. David Diano says:

    Don’t underestimate primaries. Kane’s battle against Murphy gave her statewide name recognition heading into the Fall.

  5. Central PA Republican says:

    I don’t know Tom Corbett personally but I have to imagine that he is giddy over the likelihood that Democrats are going to over-primary themselves into a general election defeat.

    Next week’s articles on this site will likely be about who has the potential to be the Ron Klink of 2014. Calling all Western PA Democrats. 2014 is your year to be the Dems nominee.

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