What do five living former governors of Pennsylvania share in common?
We know it’s not policy nor party. However, they do seek to restore the standards, expectations, and norms for elected officials and candidates seeking positions overseeing the administration and certification of elections.
On Tuesday, democracyFIRST made the historic announcement that the five living former governors of Pennsylvania have made the democracyFIRST Promise, joining the bipartisan group of nearly 100 county-wide candidates on the ballot this November.
The former governors were joined by a bipartisan group of four former members of Congress who also put their support behind the democracyFIRST Promise campaign. The bipartisan momentum behind the effort reflects Pennsylvanians’ rejection of radical politics that threaten democracy, the rule of law, and confidence in elections.
To date, 89 county commission and county council candidates from 45 counties across the Commonwealth have made the democracyFIRST Promise.
Hear what the former governors are saying:
Gov. Tom Ridge
“Our ability to work together, despite our differences, has set Pennsylvania apart for centuries. It’s a credit to community leaders and a competitive advantage for our businesses.”
Gov. Mark Schweiker
“Every living former Pennsylvania governor, more than 100 candidates on the Pennsylvania ballot next month along with countless Pennsylvanians have come together to support democracyFirst. Please join us in this effort to conduct informative, fair, and violence-free elections.”
Gov. Ed Rendell
“We have big challenges to tackle in Pennsylvania, from health care to infrastructure to education, and there will be spirited debates about the best way to move the Commonwealth forward. But elected leaders can’t grapple with these issues until we all agree on a basic set of rules: support democracy, uphold the rule of law, and accept the results of elections regardless of who wins.”
Gov. Tom Corbett
“One of the things I like most about Pennsylvania is that we come together when it counts, regardless of our differences. That’s why we must come together to denounce political violence and respect election results.”
Gov. Tom Wolf
“When companies are looking to invest here in Pennsylvania, they look at the quality of our schools, our roads, and our workforce, but they also look at the strength of our communities. When we ignore political violence and let others question our elections, we weaken our communities.”
The list of former members of Congress included Jason Altmire, Kathy Dahlkemper, Charlie Dent, and Patrick Murphy.
Rep. Charlie Dent
“To protect the future of free, fair, and safe elections here in Pennsylvania, we need to restore the consensus for the expectations and norms for elected officials and candidates running for office in our democracy. That’s why I’m proud to join the democracyFIRST Promise campaign and join the group of bipartisan, pro-democracy, leaders across the Commonwealth who are publicly supporting the fundamental principles of our democracy and republic.”
Rep. Jason Altmire
“A healthy democracy is essential for a healthy economy. When leaders respect election results, work across party lines, and prioritize the needs of all citizens, we can create an environment that fosters economic growth and prosperity for everyone.”
Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper
“If candidates and officials don’t respect the fundamental principles of our democracy, it will set Pennsylvania back. Growth and prosperity for the commonwealth depend on a functional democracy and leaders who are committed to the rule of law.”
The democracyFIRST Promise Campaign launched in July with a $150,000 TV ad buy across Pennsylvania calling on county commission candidates to make the democracyFIRST Promise. The campaign aims to restore the standards, expectations, and norms for elected officials and candidates seeking positions overseeing the administration and certification of elections. The cross-partisan campaign centers on four pro-democracy principles:
- Support every eligible American citizen’s freedom to exercise their right in free, fair, accessible, safe, and secure elections.
- Denounce political violence against opponents, their supporters, and election workers.
- Don’t propagate falsehoods and misinformation about the electoral process.
- Accept and certify the final election result after all the votes are counted, concede the contest if you lose, and support the peaceful transition of power.