Jay Paterno To Run For Lt. Gov.

jay paterno
Jay Paterno

Jay Paterno, son of infamous college football coach Joe Paterno, announced that he is running for the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor.

First reported by Philadelphia Daily News’ John Baer, the former quarterback coach at Penn State University is running for the number 2 spot on the Democratic ballot this year.

In addition to his coaching experience, he worked with the campaigns for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and even campaigned with Joe Biden.

He now runs a non-profit group working to fight malaria in Africa but still lives in State College.

Before this announcement, there was some speculation that he was going to run for Congress against Rep. Glenn Thompson. The Scranton Times-Tribune reported in July that some anonymous group – possibly the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – conducted a telephone poll of a Paterno-Thompson race.

Paterno joins a crowded field in the Democratic primary for Lt. Gov., including State Senator Mike Stack, State Rep. Brandon Neuman, former Rep. Mark Critz, Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski, Harrisburg city advisor Brenda Alton and Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith.

21 Responses

  1. Anybody who actually bothered to READ the Freeh Report (instead of just believing what ESPN told you about it) could tell that it was nonsense. It ‘concludes’ that Joe Paterno was in on the coverup but offers no real evidence to support the assertion.

    Since it’s inevitable that our next Governor will be a Democrat, I wish Jay well. He’s far better than any of the other clowns who are running on the Dem ticket. .

  2. Who the Lieutenant Governor is has no impact on the Governor’s race. We survived 4 years of Catherine Baker Knoll just fine. Also, don’t all people who run for office have egos? Jay Paterno is a very down to earth, intelligent, compassionate guy who is an inspirational speaker. He is nothing like his brother Scott who ran against Holden.

  3. Yes, Jay Paterno might garner votes from Penn State die hards and some Centre County locals, but without dumping a boatload of money into the race, I don’t see him making much of an impact. (And where is he going to raise money, aside from PSU’s alumni base?) The Penn State connection/ Paterno name hurts as much as it helps at this point. It’s not like he sneaks in as the alternative to the Philly candidates, we already have those. If this helps anyone, it’s Stack.

    There are candidates in this race representing every possible iteration of the political spectrum, from the very conservative (Critz) the very progressive (Koplinski), with Smith, Stack, Alton and Neuman in between. You’ve got everything represented.

    I see this as a representation of Paterno’s arrogance and ego. He has a right to run, of course, we live in a republic. But he us doing it for ego, and not to help anyone but himself.

    And if he somehow sneaks in and get the nomination, God help the Democratic Party and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It basically ensures four more years of Tom Corbett.

  4. Who ever wrote this article is an idiot. Paterno is famous not infamous. The AG report singled out Paterno for praise for reporting the incident that McQueary reported to him. The Freeh report is garbage and respected former Attorney General and PA Governor Dick Thornburgh agrees. Jay’s biggest obstacle is that the majority of PSU alums are Republican and won’t be able to vote in the primary for him. However, in this crowded field I think Jay has a definite chance.

  5. Andrew-
    To me, Paterno, Sr. was no different than co-conspirator after the fact. That his motivation was preserving the image of Penn State football and his own money/status over the welfare of children is all the more damning.

  6. Judging by all of the vitriolic comments from Penn State football haters, Jay Paterno does indeed have his work cut out for him. But to say Joe Paterno and Sandusky belong in the same jail cell? Ridiculous, hateful and totally self-defeating.

  7. Wilson-
    The investigation and report by Freeh concluded that Paterno was part of the cover-up. From Wikipedia:
    — Former FBI director Louis Freeh and his firm, including a team of former federal prosecutors and FBI agents, were hired by the Penn State Board of Trustees to conduct an independent investigation into the scandal.After interviewing over 400 people and reviewing over 3.5 million documents, the independent investigation team reported that Paterno, Spanier, Curley and Schultz had concealed Sandusky’s actions in order to protect publicity surrounding Penn State’s celebrated football program. Freeh’s firm’s investigation found that by their actions, the four men “failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade.” The report concluded that Paterno, along with Schultz, Spanier and Curley “concealed Sandusky’s activities from the Board of Trustees, the University community and authorities.” —–

    The defenders of Paterno all seem to have a vested financial interest (like Penn State).

    I don’t think his son should pay for his crimes, and I’ve heard Jay is (unlike his father) a Democrat.

    However, the facts are in on the Coach. If people want to support Jay, they should probably avoid attempts to defend his father simultaneously.

    JoePa belonged in a jail cell with Sandusky. Football fans foolishly support JoePa and demonstrate the same misguided concern for the perception of Penn State football over the rape of young boys.

  8. Joe didn’t cover anything up – and that is according the Attorney General’s office. Yup, Fina said no evidence JVP was part of a coverup.

    Either way, Jay deserves to run on his own ideas like anyone else. If you dislike his ideas, fine. If you dislike his name, you probably also voted either for or against Obama based on skin tone. Any judgment not based on the individual himself and his ideas or record is flat bleeping wrong

  9. Whatever his qualities, Paterno has a good chance of becoming Lt. Gov. Others may have better qualities, but Paterno has the name recognition in a seven-way race, and the Democrats are likely to take the Governor’s mansion, if they don’t drop the ball (but remember what Will Rodgers said…). His chances of beating Glenn Thompson, though not necessarily zero, are much smaller.

  10. Penn State fans won’t vote for him because he was a lousy QB coach; Pitt fans won’t vote for him because he’s Paterno’s kid; Who else is left? How many Temple fans will show up to vote in the primary?

  11. Joe Paterno is “infamous”?? What a pathetic bunch of hacks. I hope they bring up Mark Critz and his telling of a gay rape joke to a woman’s caucus.

  12. Of course, it’s “infamous.” Looking the other way for and thereby facilitating child rape … “infamous” is a nice way to describe JoePa. May he and Sandusky rot in hell now and later.

  13. Everyone take it easy on Brittany…. not her fault every has a different view of Joe Paterno and which word they prefer to accurately describe him.

    I would have used former personally. But it does not matter as the point was conveyed that Jay Paterno is running for Lt Gov. The rest is pointless debate.

  14. I don’t have an opinion and don’t care about Joe Paterno or Jay Paterno, but the piece should have used the phrase “well-known” or even “controversial.” Using the term “infamous” states a negative opinion. Joe Paterno is “famous” and beloved to some, and “infamous” and disliked to others. The terms “well-known” and “controversial” include both “famous” and “infamous,” but are far more neutral, allowing others to draw their own conclusions and form their own opinions. That is the mission and prevailing standard of real journalism.

    This is very poor writing, and would fail even the most introductory paper in any basic journalism class. If it is to be an opinion piece rather than an attempt at journalism, the writing should state that.

  15. Actually Salnar, if anything he is controversial. There are strong arguments on both sides, and it’s inconclusive if he even knew, and there are still law suits in the courts related specifically to the investigation.

    It would be more accurate to either just say his name, or controversial, but by saying infamous they took a journalistic side and that may be fine for an opinion piece but it is not neutral nor the stance one expects in a news piece, and we should call a spade a spade.

  16. Politics PA,

    This is a horribly written post – if anything, Joe Paterno is famous, not “infamous.” Sandusky is infamous. Paterno is a national icon who has a gigantic library named after him on the Penn State campus.

    Just say Joe Paterno, everyone knows who he was. Or if you feel the need to preface his name, at least say controversial, or something more accurate.

    Common Politics PA.

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