State House Sound Bites

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

Pawlowski's exit becomes another candidate's gain

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Feb 3, 2014 2:46 PM
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Photo by Mary Wilson / witf


Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, the only northeastern Democrat to launch a bid for Pennsylvania governor, is ending his campaign.

The decision came down to money, Pawlowski said Monday after making the announcement in Allentown. He said he anticipated a crowded gubernatorial race when he entered it last September, but he didn't expect candidates would be raising more than $27 million in 2013, as campaign finance reports due last Friday showed.

"I talked about the message. To get that message out, it takes dollars," Pawlowski said, adding that he hopes his exodus is a cue to other Democratic gubernatorial contenders and their supporters.

"I would hope that folks would start galvanizing behind a single candidate," Pawlowski said. "The last thing we need in the Democratic party is to beat ourselves up in the primary and spend a lot of money that could be used to take back the governor's office come November."

The Allentown announcement of the dropped bid came with a simultaneous show of support for Democratic gubernatorial candidate, state Treasurer Rob McCord, who said Pawlowski's decision shows a unique character trait: realism.

"Let's be blunt. Too many candidates are delusional," said McCord. He later clarified that he was not calling any of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates delusional. Nor was Pawlowski's announcement to be taken as a sign the Allentown mayor has secured a position in any potential future McCord administration.

"There were no deals here," McCord said. He continued, referring to himself in the third person, "If Rob McCord is governor, he'll be picking up the phone to call Ed Pawlowski, to work with him. It would not surprise me if Ed Pawlowski said, I love being mayor, I'm staying as mayor, but I'm happy to be a teammate."

Pawlowski, for his part, said he's not ruling out a potential bid for lieutenant governor.


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