From Second and State: PA Political Update

by Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
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Candidates Report Fundraising Efforts

March 31marked the end of the campaign finance reporting cycle covering the period from January 1 through March 31. According to reports filed with the Department of State, gubernatorial candidates have the following cash on hand:

  • Governor Tom Corbett (R) reported that his campaign raised $1.4 million, bringing his fundraising total to approximately $9 million. The Corbett campaign spent approximately $3 million this period leaving a $6 million war chest to fund his bid for a second-term.
  • Robert Guzzardi (R), who is challenging Governor Corbett in the primary, reported raising $4,500 and spending nearly all of it–$4,100. Guzzardi is an attorney from Montgomery County.
  • Tom Wolf (D) raised $611,000 during the most recent reporting period. Added to previous fundraising efforts, and his personal investment of $10 million, the Wolf campaign has raised a total of $14 million. Wolf has already spent half of that amount. His campaign reports about $7 million on hand. Wolf is a business owner from York County.
  • U.S. Representative Allyson Schwartz (D) reported approximately $5 million on hand at the end of the reporting period, the same amount as the previous cycle. Schwartz both raised and spent approximately $1.5 million this reporting period.
  • Former Secretary of Environmental Protection Katie McGinty (D) reported a approximately $1.6 million cash on hand; McGinty had $1,750,000 from the previous cycle and raised an additional million. The campaign spent just over a million.
  • Rob McCord (D), current Pennsylvania Treasurer, reported approximately $3.5 million cash on hand. McCord had $6 million going into the reporting period; he raised $500,000 and spent approximately $3 million.

Incumbents Survive Petition Challenges

Pennsylvania is in the thick of the campaign petition challenge period and to date, House Democratic incumbents Ted Harhai (D-58), Pam DeLissio (D-194), and Brendon Boyle (D-170), have survived challenges to the validity of their nomination petitions. All three will remain on the ballot.

In other primary challenges of note, former Representative Babette Josephs (D) will be removed from the ballot. Josephs is a 14-year House veteran, and was trying to reclaim the seat she lost last year to current State Representative Brian Simms (D-182).

Robert Guzzardi (R), a Montgomery County lawyer who is challenging Governor Corbett in the Republican primary, survived a petition challenge and will remain on the ballot.

Objections to the petitions of Representative J.P. Miranda (D-197) and Representative Mark Cohen (D-202 have been filed and heard in the Commonwealth Court. The court’s decision is expected any day.

Lt. Governor’s Race

Candidates for lieutenant governor have raised over a million dollars among them.  The race for lieutenant governor never receives as much publicity as the governor’s race because the candidate will ultimately run on the same ticket as the candidate for governor. However, since the position is the first in line of succession to the governor, it is a race worthy of attention.

Duties

Most of the duties of the lieutenant governor are established in the Pennsylvania Constitution. The lieutenant governor serves as the chairman of the five-member Board of Pardons. The lieutenant governor also serves as the President of the Senate, overseeing the daily parliamentary procedure from the floor. In that role, the lieutenant governor is also allowed to cast a tie-breaking vote on bills, resolutions and conference committee reports before the Senate.

By state statute, the lieutenant governor also serves as a member of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council and as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Local Government Advisory Committee. Additionally, some governors assign additional responsibilities to the office. Lieutenant Governor Cawley was appointed chair of the Governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Committee, as provided by an executive order issued in 2011.

The most well known duty of the lieutenant governor is the authority to take over as acting governor when the governor becomes unable to perform his or her duties.  This can happen for any amount of time, and most often occurs when the governor is unavailable because of a medical procedure. In recent history, Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley has had the authority transferred to him briefly under those circumstances during the current administration. Lieutenant Governor Mark Singel took over as acting governor when Governor Bob Casey transferred executive authority to him due to Casey’s failing health. Lieutenant Governor Mark Schweiker took the reins as governor when then Governor Tom Ridge became President George W. Bush’s Director of the Office of Homeland Security.

2014 Lt. Governor Candidates

Let’s take a look at the candidates for this important but sometimes overlooked office during this election cycle:

On the Republican side, current Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley is running unopposed.

On the Democratic ticket, a there is a five-way primary, with the following candidates ready to run for and possibly serve as PA’s second in command:

  • State Senator Mike Stack hails from Philadelphia and is serving his fourth term in the state senate. He currently serves as minority chairman of the Senate Banking and Insurance committee;
  • Former U.S. Senator Mark Critz represented PA’s 12th Congressional district, which, at the time, reached  from southwestern Pittsburgh through Johnstown, where Critz lives today;
  • Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith is currently serving as a member of the county’s Board of Commissioners and was its chairman from 2008-2012;
  • State Representative Brandon Neuman, has represented the 48th district in Washington County since 2010; and
  • Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski, a former federal and state government employee, who has served in his elected position since 2007.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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