State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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Mango stakes out conservative outsider territory

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | May 18, 2017 7:35 PM



Mango gave his first announcement speech in Pittsburgh. (Photo by Paul Mango for Govenor)

(Pittsburgh) - Paul Mango, a health care consultant running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, has so far kept an extremely low profile.

Mango still hasn't granted any media interviews. But speeches at his official campaign announcement events have shed a little light on the man who, at this stage, is a political unknown.

One thing Mango has made clear? He's not a politician.

"We need Harrisburg to start doing its job and stop doing ours," he said at his speech in Pittsburgh. "Harrisburg and it's politicians are relics."

It's a line that's proven effective for many campaigners recently most notably, for President Donald Trump.

Mango, who most recently consulted for McKinsey and Co., is branding himself as a pro-private sector, small government conservative.

He's against abortion, as well as state funding for Planned Parenthood. An Army veteran, he emphasized his support for the military--and used the position to juxtapose himself with Wolf.

"When our current governor delivered his inaugural address, never once did he use the word veteran," Mango said.

He also he took swings at the governor's bids to deal with the Pennsylvania's billions of dollars in debt.

"Combining a couple of departments and using a few catchy slogans is not my idea of reform," he said. "We need to fundamentally redefine the role Harrisburg plays in our lives, and the current leadership is incapable of achieving this."

The Wolf camp has been equally critical of Mango, particularly on his stances regarding healthcare. 

"Paul Mango refuses to answer where he stands on Trumpcare [the House GOP-introduced American Health Care Act], which would cause millions of Pennsylvanians to lose health care...If Paul Mango is running for governor, he needs to answer to the people of Pennsylvania and stop dodging," said Wolf Communications Director Beth Melena.

The only other contender currently seeking the GOP nomination is York County State Senator Scott Wagner, who's also billing himself as a political outsider.

House Speaker Mike Turzai--a more establishment conservative--is also expected to enter the race in the next few months. 

This article has been updated to include comment from the Wolf campaign. 

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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