By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The former auditor general of Pennsylvania has confirmed that he’s joining the already crowded race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

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The addition of Jack Wagner will swell to eight the ranks of Democrats seeking the nomination for governor of Pennsylvania.

During a conference call today with reporters on another topic, former governor Ed Rendell, also a Democrat, was asked about Wagner.

“Well, first of all, Jack Wagner has every right to run,” the governor replied.  “As you know, he ran for mayor recently -– last year -– and put his name before the people of Pittsburgh.  And they responded.”

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Wagner lost the Democratic primary race for mayor of Pittsburgh.

Rendell went on to say that the fact that Wagner would be the only candidate from the western part of the state won’t matter much unless Wagner can raise significant dollars to advertise.

In other campaign news, former vice president Al Gore has endorsed the gubernatorial bid of his former advisor, Katie McGinty.  And Jay Paterno, the son of the late Penn State coach, says he’ll seek the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor (see related story).

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