State House Speaker, and rumored Gubernatorial candidate Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) withdrew his participation from a candidates forum in Montgomery county tonight.
Turzai had been scheduled to participate in the event with the three candidates who have announced for the race.
In an email late last night, event organizers announced Turzai would not be attending the event, citing obligations in Harrisburg. The state House is holding a non-voting session day today.
Participating in the event would have been a strong sign Turzai is running. Withdrawing from the event does not mean he will not enter the race, but is a hit against a possible bid.
Update: Turzai’s team responded cautioning against jumping to conclusions about Turzai’s plans.
“I’d be careful not read anything into adjustments to the schedule in the day-to-day dynamics of state budget negotiations. Speaker Turzai is keeping his own counsel and directing the timetable on announcing a gubernatorial run. When the budget is closed, there’s going to be plenty of time to hear from the candidates in next year’s elections. First things first,” Turzai’s Political Advisor Jeff Coleman said in an email.
Pittsburgh businesswoman Laura Ellsworth, Pittsburgh businessman Paul Mango, and state Senator Scott Wagner (R-York) will all participate in the event tonight.