State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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Endorsements trickling in for gubernatorial hopefuls

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Jan 8, 2018 3:40 AM
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York County Senator Scott Wagner, who also owns a trash-hauling company. (Photo by AP)

The 2018 elections in Pennsylvania are expected to be among the most closely watched in the nation. WITF plans extensive coverage of federal and state races, including the gubernatorial campaign. Find the full breadth of our coverage so far, here.

(Harrisburg) -- The state Republican Party is starting its monthlong series of meetings with candidates for governor and other top offices to decide who it will endorse next month.

It's still anyone's guess who the party will back, or even whether members will tap a gubernatorial candidate at all.

In the meantime, endorsements are rolling in from other organizations across the state.

The four GOP candidates--state Senator Scott Wagner of York County and House Speaker Mike Turzai, health care systems consultant Paul Mango, and attorney Laura Ellsworth, all from the Pittsburgh suburbs--strike similar, conservative tones on issues virtually across the board.

But Wagner, who also owns a trash-hauling company, has begun to distinguish himself in terms of endorsements.

The senator has received thumbs-up from a few dozen GOP county committee chairs and members, Congressman Scott Perry, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a handful of state House members, and at least 11 fellow senators, including GOP Majority Leader Jake Corman.

One of Wagner's higher-profile nods came from former Trump Administration official Steve Bannon.

But he slightly distanced himself from Bannon after critical quotes about the president were attributed to the Breitbart executive.

A spokesman said that if the comments are true, "Scott doesn't agree with them and believes that the attacks on the President and his family are wrong."

Spokespeople for Mango, Turzai, and Ellsworth didn't respond to requests for comment on endorsements they've received.

Mango, however, has publicly been endorsed by at least four Republican county commissioners from around the state, as well as Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton.

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