HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS/AP) — State Treasurer Rob McCord confirmed Tuesday that he will join the already crowded Democratic field for governor and try to challenge an expected re-election bid by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett next year.
“I’m running because I believe we need to start investing in Pennsylvania families again. Somewhere along the line, the current governor stopped doing that and it’s been a terrible mistake,” McCord said in an email sent to supporters.
The eighth Democrat to declare his candidacy, McCord scheduled news conferences Tuesday at Montgomery County Community College in the Philadelphia suburb of Blue Bell and an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers facility in Pittsburgh. He has already hired a campaign staff and formed a fundraising committee.
McCord, a 54-year-old former venture capitalist who was re-elected as treasurer last year, saidhe’s running because he wants to invest in Pennsylvania families and provide opportunities for young people.
Other declared candidates for the May 20 primary are U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, former state Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf, former state environmental protection secretaries John Hanger and Katie McGinty, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz and Pentecostal minister Max Myers. At least two others are considering running.
Corbett’s political support remains stubbornly low — a recent Franklin & Marshall College poll showed only 20 percent of voters think he deserves a second term — and Democrats believe a strong challenger could make him the first the governor to be denied re-election since they were allowed to seek second terms in 1974.
McCord, seeking to separate himself from the pack, noted that as treasurer he has clashed with Corbett on several occasions.
He cited his opposition to Corbett’s plan to hire a British firm to manage the Pennsylvania Lottery and his refusal to approve millions of dollars in payments to a website-management company hired by Corbett before a surcharge that is supposed to finance the work takes effect.
“I know a lot of people are talking about taking on Tom Corbett, but I’ve been doing it since he was elected,” McCord said.
State Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason dismissed McCord’s announcement Tuesday as “just another tax-and-spend liberal” joining “the Democratic primary circus.”
Before launching his first political campaign, which got him elected as treasurer in 2008, McCord served as CEO of the nonprofit Congressional Institute for the Future in Washington and later worked for Safeguard Scientifics Inc. before helping start several private enterprises that fed capital to technology and biotech firms.
He has a bachelor’s degree in economics and history from Harvard University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
He lives in Bryn Mawr with his wife and two children.
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