Harrisburg Councilman Koplinski to Launch LG Bid

Koplinski LG announcement
Brad Koplinski

Update 2:00pm: Koplinski officially kicked off his bid in the Capitol, emphasizing his desire to be an advocate for Pa. municipalities and taking direct aim at Gov. Tom Corbett.

“I’ve served as a Harrisburg City Councilman and I’ve had the opportunity to see first hand the effects this morally bankrupt administration has had on our local governments,” he said.

“His promises to the people of the Commonwealth were broken in favor of back room deals with out-of-state frackers, English lottery hucksters and Wall Street bankers.”

He said he’d like to use LG’s role as Chair to expand the Local Government Advisory Committee.

Why start the campaign so early? Koplinski said he intends to visit all 67 counties and that cementing relationships with politicos around the state takes time.


Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski will become the first Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor today. He’ll officially kick off his bid in the Capitol at noon.

He’s running on a platform of advocacy for municipal governments.

“Pennsylvania’s municipalities are in trouble. They are spending more money than they are taking in. Their infrastructures are crumbling. They are not allowed to generate their own revenue without asking for permission from the Governor and the Legislature,” he said in a release. “Having fought Governor Corbett in determining the best course for Harrisburg, I want to be able to continue that fight on behalf of all of our cities, towns and boroughs.”

Koplinski, 43, was elected to Harrisburg City Council in 2007 and re-elected in 2011. He’s been Mayor Linda Thompson’s chief critic on Council and has vocally opposed state-imposed plans to deal with the City’s debt.

He was considering a run for Mayor as recently as 2012.

Unlike, say, Vice President, the LG isn’t chosen by the top of the ticket. Candidates run independently from those running for Governor.

Campaigns for LG tend to be below the radar affairs, where the county listed under a candidate’s name is about as valuable as any money that gets spent on advertising. Shoe leather politics matters more for LG than in a higher-profile race, too, as state Rep. Scott Conklin (D-Centre) proved in 2010 when he eked out a win over two Philadelphians.

Koplinski has his rolodex to his advantage. He’s managed either finance or political outreach for numerous Democratic candidates running statewide, including Arlen Specter in 2010, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008, John Kerry in 2004. In between he’s worked for the state Democratic party.

For that work, PoliticsPA named Koplinski one of PA’s Top Political Operatives in 2010.

An attorney, he previously worked in Washington, DC at the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel. He was also a Policy Analyst at the Pa. Auditor General’s office.

State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montco) has also floated his name as a possible LG candidate.

Though Gov. Tom Corbett has yet to kick off his re-election campaign officially, every indication is that his LG Jim Cawley will seek a second term as well.

Full disclosure: Koplinski and I worked together on Sen. Specter’s campaign.

18 Responses

  1. To “proudamericanproudvet” Kathy Dahlkemper did win 57% of her home county (Erie County) in 2010 when she lost for Congress. The district has become more Pittsburgh based which hurt her district-wide in a year that had historic losses for Dems.

  2. I’m Polish, and seeing Brad as Lt. Gov would be great! It would fill the Polish Power Vacuum left behind by Paul Kanjorski and Jan Lewan.

  3. It seems like an odd jump from Harrisburg City Council to Lieutenant Governor. A McCord/Kathy Dahlkemper ticket would be strong. I am not sure Kathy Dahlkemper has a chance for Governor so she should run as AG.

  4. I used to be a constituent of this fellow whilst dwelling in our fair capitol city and I don’t understand why you folk are making such derogatory comments about his being polish. Having seen him in person on my strolls about town he appears to be entirely corporeal and not (according to Messrs. Merriam & Webster) “a liquid substance used to produce a gloss and often a color for the protection and decoration of a surface as in “.

  5. It’s pretty eye-opening that someone actually is taking the time to establish a fake personality on the PoliticsPA comments section in order to make conservatives look bad. This ethnic slur from “Jocelyn Grecco” comes days after she wrote of being “afraid” to handle guns as a woman, as well as her yearning for a boyfriend that would protect her with a gun on dates at malls and restaurants.

    If conservatism indeed is a “BS” political ideology, then surely its critics could come up with more effective ways to show this than by misrepresenting oneself as a backward-thinking Republican or, as Jeremy and David do, making generalized, hyper-partisan attacks.

  6. By “great conservative”, I guess you must mean “selling out the voters to his donors and corporate interests all the while trying to disenfranchise those same voters at the polls”. Yes, by that standard, Corbett could be considered “great”.

    I met Cawley once. He’s about as sharp as a piece of Play-Doh.

  7. Sorry Jocelyn, Corbett has no chance. It doesn’t surprise me that a Conservative would insult the man for being polish. So much for strong family values. Conservatism is a BS anyway. A tool to make the rich richer.

  8. I’m a conservative leader and while I find Koplinski to be a very handsome man, we don’t need a liberal polish pierogi in the Governors mansion. I am supporting Governor Corbett’s re-election bid because he is a great conservative leader.

  9. it is time to turn the page and unify party to keep from losing the governor’s mansion. Pileggi Cawley in 2014!

  10. I have been saying this for months. The Lt. Gov. can’t come from SEPA so candidates have to come from other areas of the state. This guy is from Harrisburg which will make some sense but I still say the Lt. Gov needs to come from NEPA or Pittsburgh, possibly Erie.

  11. I would like to know when the Republicans are putting up a real slate against Corbutt/Cawley. I think we can take them out in the primary. I wish all of these Dems good luck but I am really worried what happens when a big heavy hitter on the Democrat side announces against Corbett. Get Tommy Boy out early or else there is trouble!

  12. So when are the Democrats going to put up some serious candidates for Governor? For Corbett being vulnerable according to the polls, the Democrats aren’t anxious to jump in the water.

  13. This is an office that I’ve really never understood but think that it is as good as the person sitting in it wants it to be. You at least have the ability to speak up on issues that matter but rarely does any LG do that. It’s a nice to have a public advocate for the real positions and not someone who just attends funerals and proclamations. If the Lt Gov is unwilling to really dig on and talk about things, than why have the position? That being said, it is an office where shoe leather really matters and hard work pays off. This election will be interesting, Corbett and Cawley have not impressed us all that much.

  14. Best of luck to Brad. He has done a good job on council. People probably won’t ever truly know how instrumental Brad was in protecting taxpayers from creditors. Hopefully the city ends up getting a fair deal.

  15. Dominic Pileggi is positioning himself to be the Republican governor nominee amid increasing anxiety over Gov. Corbett’s weighty baggage and sagging poll numbers. No sooner than word broke of Corbett’s son-in-law getting pinched by the FBI, Pileggi was working the phones. Those in Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley’s camp are naturally disturbed by Pileggi’s machinations.

Comments are closed.

  • Do You Agree With the Supreme Court Decision to Overturn Roe v. Wade?

    • No. (50%)
    • Yes. (47%)
    • Not Sure (3%)

    Total Voters: 109

    Loading ... Loading ...
Continue to Browser


To install tap and choose
Add to Home Screen