“Jeff is a great guy who wants to change the way Harrisburg works,” Wagner said in a release announcing the team.
The two said the decision had come after getting to know each other on the campaign trail, and Bartos realizing he could change more of what he wanted from the Lieutenant Governor’s office than the Senate.
“The more Scott and I talked, the more I found the issues I cared most about were state and local issues,” Bartos said during the press conference.
The move by Bartos takes out one of the largest obstacles of Congressman Lou Barletta’s run for Senate. At the last filing, Bartos had the most cash on hand of the Republican Senate candidates. Bartos said today his lawyers and fundraisers are working to move as much money from his Senate campaign to his Lieutenant Governor campaign.
Bartos and Wagner will both have to win independently in the primary next year to officially become running mates for the campaign. Neither Wagner or Bartos directly answered what they would do if one of them won but the other did not.
The announcement also served as an opportunity for state Senator David Argall (R-Berks), who had been rumored to be considering a run for Lieutenant Governor, to announce he would not be seeking the seat.
Update: The Pennsylvania Democratic Party went on the offensive against Wagner over healthcare, which will likely be a key issue in the race.
“It doesn’t matter who Scott Wagner adds to his team, he’s far too conservative and will will gut Medicaid, roll back coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, strip health care options away from women, and charge seniors an age tax,” Pa. Dems Communications Director Beth Melena said in an email.