State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Rendell rinses, repeats: no endorsement to come

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Sep 12, 2013 11:49 PM

Former Governor Ed Rendell looms so large over the crowded Democratic gubernatorial primary that even his unequivocal statements about how it's shaping up need repeating.

From the Department of He Meant It, Rendell wants you to know: he's not making an endorsement in the Democratic primary.

He said as much in May, but there's been some intraparty drama since then. Rendell says he's getting phone calls from candidates concerned that he's made it look like he supports U.S. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz.

Not at all, says Rendell. "Three of them served in my cabinet," he said, referring to candidates Kathleen McGinty, John Hanger, and Tom Wolf. "And to try to choose one of those three would be like asking a father to pick his favorite among three children."

Rendell said he won't make an endorsement if anybody new jumps into the race. More contestants are expected to come on down. Former state Auditor General Jack Wagner is considering a bid. State Treasurer Rob McCord is hiring campaign staff.

"No entry of anybody would change my decision," Rendell said. "I think it's very, very important to find out who the best candidate for the fall election will be. And I think the way to find that out is to have an open contest between the six, seven, or eight candidates and the one who's the best candidate will win."

Not that he's overestimating his role in the matter.

"I'm not saying if I endorse candidate 'A' they were going to win," Rendell said. "But it would certainly give them an advantage."

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