News

Health care consultant tells GOP he'll join governor's race

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 24, 2017 2:29 PM
state_capitol_harrisburg.jpg

In this Oct. 7, 2015 photo, people walk past the Pennsylvania Capitol building in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Harrisburg) -- A suburban Pittsburgh health care systems consultant and political newcomer is expected to announce next month that he will run for the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania governor in 2018 to challenge Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's re-election bid.

Paul Mango and his campaign have called Republican Party officials in recent days to say that he will make his official announcement in May.

"It appears he's serious about it," said David Dumeyer, the chairman of the Lancaster County GOP, who received one of the calls.

Mango has hired veteran campaign staff and has toured the state, meeting with GOP activists, business groups and others in what a campaign spokesman said was an effort to decide whether to run.

The 58-year-old Mango is a bit of a mystery: He has never held or run for public office, or done a media interview about his political views.

Mango's campaign spokesman on Monday would not say whether Mango has decided to run. But the spokesman, John Brabender, said Mango is planning an announcement in mid-May on his intentions regarding the governor's race.

"It's going to take a different type of candidate to beat a sitting governor," Brabender said. "And we believe one that is an outsider who is a business leader and has had an incredible service to this county in serving in the military is probably the ideal opponent to beat Tom Wolf."

Mango was a long-time health care systems consultant for the worldwide consultancy McKinsey and Co. He is also an Army veteran, having served with the 82nd Airborne Division, and a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. He also has a master's degree in business from Harvard University. He has left his job at McKinsey, Brabender said.

Wolf, 68, is running for a second four-year term and appears thus far to have a united Democratic Party behind him.

Republican state Sen. Scott Wagner of York County announced in January that he will seek the GOP nomination to challenge Wolf's re-election bid. Pennsylvania state House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, has told Republican Party officials that he is considering running.

Wagner has said he will not run for Senate again. For Turzai, running for governor would likely mean not running again for the suburban Pittsburgh House seat he has held since 2001.

The race will be expensive.

Wolf's campaign spent more than $32 million on the 2014 contest, in which he beat then-Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, and won a four-way Democratic Party primary. Wolf reported spending about $14 million alone on the primary after contributing $10 million of his own money.

Wagner, who built two municipal waste-hauling companies and currently owns the $65 million Penn Waste operation, reported loaning his campaign $4 million. Not much is known about Mango's personal wealth. Brabender said he did not know much about it, but said that Mango is committed to putting some of his own money into his campaign.

An earlier story is below:

A suburban Pittsburgh health care systems consultant and political newcomer is expected to announce he's running for the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania governor in 2018.

Party officials say they've heard in recent days from Paul Mango and his campaign that he'll make an official announcement May. A Mango spokesman isn't confirming Mango's decision to run, but says Mango is planning an announcement in mid-May about the governor's race.

Mango has hired veteran campaign staff and is touring the state, meeting with GOP activists and others.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is running for a second four-year term.

Republican state Sen. Scott Wagner of York County is also seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Wolf's re-election bid. State House Speaker Mike Turzai has told Republican Party officials that he's considering running.

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