PA-Gov: Petition Scorecard


The big winner in petitions yesterday was Rep. Allyson Schwartz who thumped the Democratic competition; Governor Corbett beat her by a few thousand, but that was mostly to be expected given that he has just one long-shot challenger.

Candidates for governor were required to accumulate at least 2,000 signatures, with 100 coming from each of 10 distinct counties.

They are ranked here in quantity of signatures, before any challenges that may knock the numbers down.

1. Governor Tom Corbett (R)

Corbett tallied a whopping 27,747 signatures and received more than 100 signatures from 50 different Pa. counties, and he made sure to get at least one signature from every county in the state.

2. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D)

Schwartz amassed 22,000 signatures, and unlike Corbett, she was competing against 6 other Democrats to get them. According to her campaign, her filing represents 34 counties.

“We have been so pleased with the grassroots support our campaign has received from over 9,000 individual donors from every county in Pennsylvania, as well as over 22,000 petition signatures gathered through a volunteer-driven grassroots organization from counties in all four corners of the Commonwealth,” Schwartz spokesman Mark Bergman said.

3. State Treasurer Rob McCord (D)

McCord put together 12,500 signatures from 61 different counties, according to an estimate from his campaign.

“We’re extremely pleased with our petition program. It demonstrated a breadth and depth of support across the state that reflects the incredible network of grassroots supporters, union endorsements, and community leaders who support our campaign that will, in the end, be the difference maker in this race,” McCord spokesman Mark Nevins told PoliticsPA.

4. Former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf (D)

Wolf was catapulted to frontrunner status after a television ad blitz yielded major leads in three polls this month, and his petition signature filing shows that he’s got the field organization to keep his name toward the front of the pack.

He filed 12,000 signatures from 50 counties, just short of McCord’s 12,500.

“Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped collect more than 12,000 signatures from more than 50 counties to put Tom Wolf on the ballot for the May 20th primary election,” says a post on Wolf’s Facebook page.

5. Former Auditor General Jack Wagner (D)

The latest entrant to the Governor’s race didn’t provide an official count (yet), but estimates put Wagner at about 4,600 signatures.

His signatures represent 27 counties, 14 of which we were over the 100 minimum.

6. Former DEP Secretary John Hanger (D)

The signature quantity dropped off significantly after Wolf, but Hanger filed enough to make himself likely safe from challenge.

He submitted 5,356 signatures from 40 counties.

“Our great force of volunteers and supporters worked hard all across the state to gather petition signatures,” Hanger said. “This dedication and energy have powered our People’s Campaign and it inspires me every day. I can’t thank every one of you enough.”

7. Former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty (D)

McGinty was just barely beat by Hanger as she filed 5,272 signatures with 100 or more signatures from 14 different counties.

“This is another milestone in our campaign to return Pennsylvania to a position of national leadership,” McGinty said. “Our ability to collect signatures in counties across the state shows that we are building a strong organization in every corner of the commonwealth. I believe it’s Pennsylvania’s time to shine, and I’m so grateful for the broad support our campaign has received across the state.”

8. Bob Guzzardi (R)

Corbett’s conservative challenger filed just enough signatures to get on the ballot, but he may be in danger of a challenge.

Guzzardi filed approximately 2,900 signatures with 12 or so counties with more than 100. These sorts of numbers are ripe for a challenge.

9. Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz (D)

Litz did not even attempt to file petition signatures, and she’s off the ballot. Sayonara.

24 Responses

  1. Anon-
    McCord is too “corporate” in his thinking for a system like mine. He and is his team’s mentality is to get their software from a large organization, regardless of the quality. He’s not going to risk his campaign millions on me getting hit by a bus. However, it would be a smarter move to add a system like mine to his strategy to expand his ground game and field operations, as the cost is minuscule compared to what he’s paying for a system like VAN.

    As I’ve stated before, it think it’s a tremendous waste of resources to gather much more than twice the number you need to get on the ballot. I think Rob’s smart enough not to waste his time on diminishing returns. Schwartz’s campaign from Day 1 has been about nothing but hype to make her seem bigger than she actually is. It’s all smoke and no substance. A bit like the Wizard of Oz.

    — She tried claiming the “mantle” due to her money and advantage (and flipped on that once Wolf started spending money).
    — She tried using name recognition in an August poll to act as though the other candidates shouldn’t bother to enter the race.
    — Now she’s touting # of signatures.


    Given the high number of signatures Schwartz turned in, I’m sure that “quality” was not an issue because 90% of them could be crap and she’d still have enough to get on the ballot. I wouldn’t be surprised if 5% of the Philly signatures aren’t even registered voters.

    Wolf’s way ahead of the pack at this point. That gap will tighten once the other candidates get on the air.

    McCord will (continue to) run circles around Schwartz in debates (especially the final televised debate for the voters). I think he’s got a better story than hers. Once the voters see her side-by-side with the other candidates, she’s doomed.

  2. @ DD:

    At the risk of provoking you even more than you have felt provoked by others, might you please ID the most reprehensible proposal you feel Guzzardi has promulgated?

  3. David Diano, I was basing my remarks about support in the Lehigh Valley and the West on the counties that were each specifically listed on the DoS website as turning in multiple pages for Schwartz, NOT her supplementals, the link to which I didn’t even click. Hear that? It’s the sound of raspberries being blown at you.

    As for third place come May you can look to see your boy McCord there who currently is polling in third place and still has pitiful name recognition, and who turned in half of the number Schwartz did in spite of his labor and state committee person/county chair support. Now why don’t you go try and sell his campaign on Voterweb and let the rest of us read this hack site in peace.

  4. frank-
    “she has the biggest chunk she will win with 24% of the vote.”

    She may get 24% of the vote, but that’s not going to be enough to win it. The winning number may be 30%, but not lower than 27%.

    (I can’t believe I’m bother to respond to your rantings).

    While I’d agree that Bob wouldn’t engage in the corruption you see in Corbett/Brabender, Bob’s a teabagger nutjob who doesn’t understand the function of government the difference between essential and non-essential services. He’d cut services past the bone and cripple the state’s economy.

    Corbett will be out on his @ss by the end of the year and a Democrat will be in the Gov’s office.


  6. I am getting word that the Corbett/Brabender Administration are going to get their jackboots out to silence Bob Guzzardi and like-minded conservatives by pushing the Edmund Burke of PA off the ballot. Do they really think that silencing Bob Guzzardi’s grass roots will undermine the voice of the forgotten PA taxpayers? If Bob Guzzardi is forced off the ballot by the Corbett-Brabender Administration bullies, then Anna Puig should resign her OMERTA job in the Department of Revenue and speak out. Daryl Metcalfe needs to speak out. Mr. Guzzardi explain what OMERTA is and what the consequences of OMERTA are to the PAGOP? If Guzzardi is forced off the ballot, it may mean a temporary win for Corbett/Brabender but be the start of Grass Roots takeover of the PAGOP!!!
    HARRISBURG Recent verbal jousting between Republican Rep. Daryl Metcalfe and GOP Gov. Tom Corbett was not only surprising but instructive as to why Corbett didn’t …

  7. @david im holding you to Schwartz coming in 3rd .she got 22000 signatures and they all are not fron philly.allegheny westmoreland erie so im sure she has the most donors and volunteers im still sticking with it will come down to area she has the biggest chunk she will win with 24% of the vote.

  8. hannah-
    Guzzardi is quite simply a fool when it comes to his positions/ideas on government. While he has every right to run, he has a better chance of winning the lottery.

    “Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?” — Obi-Wan

    I think it likely that if Corbett’s team mounts a challenge, they will find enough defects to knock Bob off the ballot. The VERY small sample I looked at was pretty bad. It it was representative, Bob’s done for.


    Schwartz filed something like 1,000 pages as “supplemental”. I haven’t taken a look at them to do county counts.

    frank (aka member of team Schwartz)
    Allyson is coming in 3rd in May

  9. If we are complimenting some of the candidates for governor for the numbers they got statewide we should really be commending any State Rep candidate who got enough signatures to file.

    Only two of the statewide candidates filed over 20,000 signatures. On the other hand the minimum requirement for State Rep is 300. Thus to file a full slate of 203 candidates statewide would require a minimum of 60,900 signatures. Is it any wonder that so many of these seats are uncontested?

  10. @anon other campaigns are claiming foul because they dont have 9000 different donors and a great ground game like allyson schwartz. these guys are so afraid of her becoming governor they will say anything.listen to corbett the only one he ever says anything about is schwartz doesnt seem to worried about the others.

  11. PAINDY1—-Don’t be silly….Corbett is the last person who would want Ray Gricar found. Can you say Sandusky???

  12. I’m getting tired of the running up the numbers in “Philadelphia row homes” line and tired of regionalism in general especially because it doesn’t reflect facts and reality. If you look at page counts by county for Schwartz she turned in large numbers from the Lehigh Valley region as well as Erie and Western counties including Allegheny. It’s not all SEPA and “Philadelphia row homes where every door is a Democrat”.

  13. The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil. Mr. Guzzardi has, apparently, made up his mind to be good and to do good as he sees it. Mr. Diano enjoys his equivocation. QED.

  14. Jeremy-
    I think you mean 4.5% not 45%. 🙂

    Actually, his odds are going to be more like 0.000045 %
    Corbett’s got to attempt a petition challenge and he can afford plenty of manpower and legal expense to do it. Corbett has to present a united front on the ballot, and does’t need a distraction like Bob.

    Of course, Bob’s presence is great for the Dems because he represents everything wrong with right-wing thinking on governance, so any positions he can get Corbett to adopt will sink the GOP ticket even further in November.

  15. Bob,

    I think survive the challenge and make it on the ballot in May. Honestly, I don’t think you are as much of an underdog as you think. I am putting your chances of election at 45%.

  16. If Bob Guzzardi, the Edmund Burke of PA, is such a non-entity, why should the mighty Corbett/Brabender team waste any time or money in trying to silence him? Wouldn’t Tom Corbett funds be put to better use offering a large reward for the whereabouts of Ray Gricar and finally helping with that manhunt?

  17. Brittany What is the evidence, or your source, that I filed only 2500 with only 7 counties of 100 signatures? If that were true, which it isn’t, the Department of State would not have accepted my filing which it did.

    You have damaged your credibility with your obviously false statement. My internal count tells me that I have, at least, ten counties with well over 100 signatures. And, of course, your report is contradicted by the official count of the Department of State.

  18. The petition scorecard can be summed up three ways:

    #1 Schwartz/Stack – both got the most signatures and both are from the Philly metro area. This isn’t by chance. I would bet both ran up the scorecard in the philly row homes where everyone is a Democrat.

    #2- McCord/Koplinski – both playing “inside baseball” with the party. Both had the second highest total. Both from Harrisburg with connections to Harrisburg. Both had the signatures from the most counties with Koplinski getting one from each county. While I think this could work for Koplinski, I don’t think inside baseball will help McCord. The Guv race will have too much money and attention and he won’t be able to win from the inside only.

    Last candidates to make it on the ballot- Wagner/Paterno- both entered the race late. Both from west of the Susquehanna and both should be embarrassed with those numbers. Both petitions show how weak their field operations are and how weak they are out of their immediate environment. Paterno was most shocking with only 1200 signatures and the most famous last name in the state. This guy just isn’t ready for prime time.

  19. But if you look at democratic numbers as a whole, My calculations are around 60000 total from all candidates.
    Democrats from all over the state are way more motivated then republicans.

  20. Good catch, thanks! A bit of numbering trouble there – it’s been corrected.

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