The Trib: Jack Wagner Considering Run for Governor

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The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that former-Auditor General Jack Wagner is considering running for governor in 2014.

Political insiders say the former Pittsburgh City Council president and onetime state senator is meeting with supporters and potential campaign donors. He expects to make a final decision in early September.

Wagner lost to Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto in the city’s Democrat mayoral primary, but would be a formidable candidate for the Democrat gubernatorial nomination. When he was re-elected auditor general in 2008, he received 3.26 million votes — more votes than Barack Obama received in Pennsylvania in that year’s presidential election.

Wagner is a Vietnam War veteran who served as Pittsburgh’s City Council President, was elected to three terms in the PA Senate, and served two terms as as Auditor General. He unsuccessfully ran for Governor in 2010, losing to Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato in the four-way primary election. Onorato garnered 45% of the vote to Wagner’s 24%.

Assuming that the candidate pool would not shrink or expand after Wagner’s entry, geography may become the matrix through which the race is decided–and Wagner would be well positioned.

He’d be the only Democratic candidate from Western Pennsylvania in the race so far, and would enjoy a heavily split southeastern section of the state between Rob McCord, Allyson Schwartz, and Katie McGinty. The center of the state could also be split between John Hanger and Tom Wolf.

About Jake Sternberger

Jake Sternberger was a contributing writer at Keystone Politics from 2011 to 2014.
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