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Turzai Opens Door for Gov Bid

TurzaiState House Speaker Mike Turzai is laying the groundwork for a possible bid for Governor in 2018. He will speak tonight at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference (PLC) Dinner and give his vision for Pennsylvania.   

Turzai will tout his conservative accomplishments while in the House and what he feels Pennsylvania needs to accomplish next.  

“There can be no doubt that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania would benefit from his leadership. He’s exploring what is the best way he can serve moving forward,” Mark Harris, a strategist for Turzai, told PoliticsPA

This is all in an effort to begin the process of exploring a bid for Governor.  Turzai will likely wait until after the budget is passed to make an announcement.  

“Right now, he is focused on the budget and his constitutional duties as Speaker of the House,” Harris said.

The timing makes sense as Turzai is one of the main GOP negotiators. But he has a clear reason to float his name now, before making a formal decision.  The early candidacy of state Senator Scott Wagner is pushing Turzai and other prospective candidates to put their names out, lest Wagner consolidate support among the conservative grassroots activists who attend PLC.

Turzai plans to launch a website and revamp his social media profile to reflect his exploration for Governor.  

He has served in the State House since winning a special election 2001.  He was elected speaker in 2015.  He has focused on reducing government spending and taxes, and has made privatizing the state’s liquor system a top priority. He has also earned a reputation as a combative legislator who does not shy away from partisan conflict.

Turzai has floated his name for higher before, including considering a run for Congress in 2012 before deciding not to pursue the nomination.

Western Pennsylvania businessman Paul Mango announced earlier this week that he will be running for Governor, along with Scott Wagner.  Former Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley, Congressman Mike Kelly (R-Butler), and state House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R-Indiana) are also rumored to be weighing a bid.

28 Responses

  1. How many Republicans in the House and Senate in Harrisburg really pay attention to the kiss of death from the teacher’s unions? Probably none. How many pay attention to Gene Barr? Probably all of them or at least the leadership does. That’s why school property taxes have not changed.

  2. Seneca still likes him some Trump pot stirring. Wow. How’s that working out for you? You must be part of the 2% that still think Trump is not a disaster.

  3. I’m really concerned about the name-calling and spiteful attacks on Mike Turzai. If you disagree with his record or like another candidate, fine. But this should not be a forum for personal attacks or condemnatory language. This forum deserves better than that.

  4. It’s a ridiculous notion. If Turzai were to somehow win the nomination, don’t be surprised if Republican organizations in SEPA quietly work to promote Wolf with their voters.

  5. Wagner? He’s bad biz for politicos on both sides of the isle because he’ll keep his promises. Only thing Wagner’s good for are the voters.

  6. One thing is for sure this race isn’t big enough for 2 western PA candidates in the Republican primary. If Mike Turzai jumps in, Scott Wagner will be impossible to beat. Maybe Turzai is really angling for Lieutenant Governor on a ticket with Paul Mango? Mike knows he isn’t ready for Governor or US Senate, and he really wants to take a stab at higher office. He opposed Trump early in favor of Marco Rubio so things like federal judge and US Attorney are not in the cards for Mike. Perhaps if Mike is angling for LG with Paul Mango he is more savvy than he gets credit for being by the trolls on this commentary section. Odds heavily favor Scott Wagner to win the primary but players Mike Turzai are fun to watch as they jockey.

  7. Why are so many Republican politicos considering making a bid for governor? A few reasons readily come to mind:

    First, Wolf’s likely to be an easy target in 2018, and blood in the water attracts all kinds of sharks. Most are forlorn hopes, but it looks better on a political resume to say you were an unsuccessful candidate for the nomination for governor than for, say, local dogcatcher.

    Second, Casey is likely to be a very tough target, even in the current and evolving political environment. Wolf is the easier target for anyone who makes it to the Republican nomination. Chances are the nominee will have a good chance of winning.

    Finally, they don’t like Scott Wagner. They don’t want someone stirring up the political pot in the way he is likely to do. And, like Trump, Wagner may make promises to the electorate he’d try to keep. Can’t have that.

  8. As a Life long Republican i cant and wont vote for Turzai. He is the MAIN reason we have never got Property tax relief here in PA. He killed every bill to eliminate Your School Property Taxes. He is paid and bought by Teachers Unions.

  9. Again, it’s necessary to note the unanswered question, namely, why did Wagner give $ to LaRouche, Kerry and Dean?

  10. I completely agree with Jim. Turzai is not exactly engaging with members of his own party, much less the public. He is really difficult to get along with and would have an uphill climb connecting with voters.

  11. Gotta be kidding, Mike Turzai is one of the most prickly, defensive, unpleasant pols in the Commonwealth. He may get away with it in his district, but, statewide, if he attempts a run, he’s toast.

  12. Mikey you hear that sound? *sssssssss* that’s all the air leaking out of your trial balloon. Again.

  13. so Turzai trolls are claiming he sold the state stores and got school vouchers done? Bwahaha. Fact check: Turzai used every bit of political capital he had and every ounce of political muscle for selling the stores, and FAILED. That was with a Republican governor and a lopsided Republican control of the entire General Assembly. He even flew a helicopter over Pat Deon’s mansion. LOL.

  14. “westerner” come on man. I feel sorry for Turzai if he runs because people like you are filling his head with crap that makes him think he is remotely viable. the last state budget wasn’t even constitutional, wasn’t balanced, they sent it to wolfdaddy with not enough revenue. this year … look out a really massive tax hike is coming and turzai has to vote for it because he’s the speaker. sad sad sad shape to be in. I think we all know this is just a wild rumor coupled with a slow news day for Sy Snyder. Turzai wouldn’t even beat Mango in western pa

  15. Hi my name is Turzai. I am running for Governor. And Lt. Gov. And US Senator. And US Attorney. And state Supreme Court. And anything else that would might generate speculation, put me in the spotlight, and stroke my own ego.

  16. Most sane people consider the 3 “accomplishments” of TurdsEye as major regressions in good government.

  17. Westerner: If those are TurdsEye accomplishments, what do you consider his failures?

  18. very strategically announced and placed. Don’t sell Turzai short. Can not wait to see the Wagner/Turzai debate. How many times will Wagner say the word swamp? Also, a great battle of sharp young strategists.

  19. Turzai carries more baggage than Dulles Airport. His tax increase votes alone would kill him politically

  20. That dog won’t hunt. He ain’t running so don’t waste too much brain power thinking about it.

  21. Nobody seems to like Turzai except the voters. He’s got a laundry list of accomplishments, including liquor privatization, school choice, and stopping Wolf’s tax hikes when everybody else was ready to cave.

  22. Results matter. Turzai has them – – think liquor privatization. It seems a lot of others just talk a big game…

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