Harrisburg — Allyson Schwartz was the top choice to face Gov. Tom Corbett for the activists at this weekend’s Pa. Progressive Summit. The Congresswoman took a plurality – 36.6% – of the votes in a straw poll of attendees.
From labor groups to women’s rights and every left-leaning cause in between, the members of Pennsylvania’s liberal grassroots congregated in the Harrisburg Hilton for a series of speakers and panels on how to more effectively push their agenda.
The number one item on that agenda: ousting Corbett in 2014.
Schwartz, whose candidacy is all but certain at this point, was the top pick of 36.6% of the 172 voters – who themselves comprised less than a third of the 600 conference participants (she got 63 votes)
“This poll is not scientific,” said Michael Morrill, the executive director of Keystone Progress, the organization putting on the conference. “It’s just a snapshot of how the most active progressives in the state feel right now.”
The ballot included no names, just a blank space for participants to write their choice.
In second place was Pa. Treasurer Rob McCord with 16.9% (29 votes), who also has not declared his candidacy but is widely expected to get into the race.
In third was former Rep. Joe Sestak with 11.6% (20 votes), who has hinted that he a gubernatorial campaign is within the realm of possibility.
State Sen. Daylin Leach who has only joked about running for Governor but is popular among activists earned 10 votes, 5.8%. All other names received only single digits. Kathleen Kane, John Hanger, Bob Casey, Michael Morrill, Judy Schwank, Max Meyers, Tom Knox and Tom Wolf were the other names that drew at least 2 votes.
If lapel stickers and flyers were any indication, Schwartz’s win wasn’t a big surprise. Marc Stier, a longtime progressive activist, placed “Draft Schwartz” flyers on every table at lunch and boosted this website.