Since I'm officially registered as a democrat in Pennsylvania, I get the dubious honor of voting in the May 18 Democratic primary for Governor.
1. Dan Onorato. Our very own chief executive is running for governor. Love him or hate him, he is a controversial fellow. Recently, Chris Potter has reported some highly questionable behavior in Dan's courting of both the pro-life and pro-choice constituents. Dan has accumulated a sizable war chest, so expect to see lots of him on TV in the near future.
2. Joe Hoeffel. Montgomery County Commissioner. Progressive. Joe has really reached out to everyone in the state during this race. I had the opportunity to meet him in Pittsburgh last Fall before I even knew who he was.
3. Jack Wagner. State Auditor General. This is a local boy from Beechview who's gone on to have a long career in state politics including stints as Pittsburgh Council president and State Senator.
4. Anthony "Tony" Williams. A State Senator. This businessman grew up in urban Philadelphia and turned to politics to save his community.
In fact, it seems like the candidates agree on most issues. They all want to fight corruption in Harrisburg. During a debate last month, they were cordial and found little to disagree on. Today, in honor of Earth Day, the candidates released a joint statement agreeing on taxing the Marcellus Shale natural gas, renewing Rendell's green programs, and enforcing clean-air regulations.
Honestly, I'd like these candidates to try to differentiate themselves more from each other. At this point, it seems like a popularity contest. According to a recent poll, Dan Onorato has the lead with 20%, but Joe Hoeffel and Jack Wagner are not far behind with 15% and 13% respectively. However, there are still a whopping 47% undecided.
Personally, I'm leaning towards Joe Hoeffel. His outreach campaign has impressed me, and he isn't afraid to speak strongly and clearly about his socially progressive leanings from health care to his pro-choice stance to the environment.
If you're registered as a Democrat, don't forget to vote on May 18.
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