Governor Tom Wolf announced today that he will be backing the State Representative in his bid for Congress.
“From standing up for women’s reproductive rights to holding the gas drillers accountable, Steve Santarsiero is the proven progressive champion we need in Congress,” said Gov. Wolf. “Steve isn’t afraid to stand up to the special interests or to do the right thing even when it’s tough. That’s the type of leadership we need in Congress. I’m proud to endorse Steve and I look forward to standing by his side and campaigning hard for his election.”
“I’m proud to have earned Governor Wolf’s support. I value his leadership, and I look forward to working together to win this election,” Santarsiero responded. “In Congress, I will continue to stand with the governor to find responsible solutions for Bucks and Montgomery Counties.”
Wolf even issued his own statement (and fundraising pitch) which the Santarsiero emailed to supporters a few hours later.
“I don’t make endorsements lightly,” he wrote. “As Governor, it’s important to me that, before I endorse, I have seen, firsthand, the capabilities and qualities of the person seeking my support. That’s why I’m not hesitating for a moment to endorse Steve Santarsiero in his race for the 8th Congressional District.”
The most surprising aspect of the endorsement is that former Gov. Ed Rendell is supporting Shaughnessy Naughton for the Democratic nomination in PA-8. Wolf and Rendell are usually on the same sides on these contests.
Meanwhile, the NRCC is already trying to use the support of the Governor against Santarsiero.
“We congratulate Steve Santarsiero for being endorsed by an out-of-touch millionaire governor who has proposed new taxes on baby diapers, burial caskets and everything in between,” NRCC Regional Spokesman Chris Pack said. “The people of Pennsylvania’s 8th District should be concerned that Santarsiero will try bringing these same tax-and-spend policies to Congress.”
The 8th Congressional District represents all of Bucks County as well as parts of upper Montgomery County.
UPDATE: The Naughton campaign sent the following statement to PoliticsPA in response:
“I am proud to have the endorsement of Governor Ed Rendell as well as teachers, scientists and small business owners all across our district because they know that when I get to Washington I’ll be a fierce advocate for Planned Parenthood and pass a ban on fracking on the Delaware. I’m not a career politician. I’m just a proud Bucks County native who wants to see middle-class families get the representation they deserve.”