It looks like Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Montgomery) is exploring her options for a bid for Governor in 2014. She has the campaign cash to make a serious run.
A survey of Democratic insiders Friday morning points to a possible candidacy. “Allyson is very talented and I’m sure she is looking at all of her options,” said one source knowingly.
As Tom Fitzgerald of the Philadelphia Inquirer scooped Friday morning, she hired Aubrey Montgomery to help her fundraiser. Montgomery is the outgoing Finance Director for the Pa. Democratic Party and is credited to a significant degree for their success in that sphere in 2012. She made PoliticsPA’s list of 30 Under 30 two cycles in a row.
Fundraising is not a weak point for Schwartz. Quite the contrary, she consistently leads the Pa. delegation in fundraising success. She is well connected to the southeast Pa. medical community.
If she does decide to jump in the race for Gov, she will be the leader in cash on hand on day one. She has over $3.1 million in her federal account. Pa. law would allow her to transfer every dollar to a campaign account for Governor.
Another prospective Democratic Guv candidate, state Treasurer Rob McCord, has $1.4 million on hand.
Gov. Tom Corbett himself reported having $2.05 million on hand at the end of 2011, his most recent filing.
Schwartz is familiar with Harrisburg: she served in the Pa. Senate for 14 years, 1991 to 2005. She’s the highest-ranking woman in elected office, too, something else that could boost her bid especially in a crowded Democratic primary.
Her background would test the degree to which abortion is a salient issue in Pa. politics. From 1975 to 1988, Schwartz was the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood’s Elizabeth Blackwell Center in Philadelphia. The clinic performed abortions as well as provided sexual and reproductive health services.
Democrats have vocally opposed Corbett’s and Republicans efforts to enact legislation aimed at making access to abortions more difficult.
If Schwartz looks at a move to the Governor’s Mansion, it would create a free-for-all for her seat in Montgomery County and Philadelphia where there is a lot of political talent and fundraising prowess. The first name would probably by State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montco), the liberal lion.