Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Allyson Schwartz isn't satisfied with opponent Tom Wolf's responses to questions about his campaign financing.
The congresswoman is on week three of prodding Wolf about the nearly $4.5 million personal loan he and his wife took out to help fund his campaign. But Schwartz wouldn't say, when asked Monday, how she thinks Wolf might be compromised, or what would be the worst-case scenario of a gubernatorial candidate with a loan to repay.
"Well it could be a distraction, for one," Schwartz told reporters after delivering remarks to the Pennsylvania Press Club in Harrisburg Monday. "And look, there may be answers. He may say, 'Look, I have another pot of money sitting somewhere that's going to pay it.'"
"This is unusual," Schwartz continued. "It's not standard practice. What does it mean? We should ask that question."
Wolf told the York Daily Record he can pay back the loan, and that it's "utter nonsense" to suggest it jeopardizes employees of the Wolf Organization, the cabinet and building materials company where he still serves as executive chairman of the board, after stepping down as CEO last year.
But Schwartz said even if there's no smoking gun behind the loan, her questions are valid, and come with the territory of a party primary.
"I'm asking these questions in a nice way. He's a Democrat -- I'm going to ask them in a nice way," Schwartz told the luncheon crowd at the Press Club Monday. "Do you think Tom Corbett and the Republicans are going to ask it nicely? I don't think so."
The Wolf campaign dismissed Schwartz's comments as "petty attacks."
"Allyson is misrepresenting her failure to understand as a failure of Tom to disclose," said Mark Nicastre, campaign spokesman for Wolf. "At this point, there is no alternative but to conclude that this is about politics."
State Treasurer Rob McCord and former state environmental protection secretary Katie McGinty are also running for the nomination.
Schwartz said she believes the race is now between only herself and Wolf.
Published in State House Sound Bites
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