Big GOP governor’s field could grow with Senator Jake Corman’s announcement

Corman, who represents a swath of central Pennsylvania surrounding Penn State's main campus, is the Senate's president pro tempore

  • Marc Levy/The Associated Press

(Harrisburg) — Jake Corman, the ranking Republican in the state Senate who is widely expected to run for governor, has begun inviting donors and others to an announcement next Thursday night.

The event is billed as a “special announcement” in Corman’s hometown of Bellefonte.

Corman’s entry into the race would swell an already big field of Republicans running for governor, double-digits deep and growing as the party searches for a nominee to succeed outgoing Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre, speaks during a Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee hearing at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021.

Corman, who represents a swath of central Pennsylvania surrounding Penn State’s main campus, is the Senate’s president pro tempore and has served in the Senate since 1999 after taking over the seat his father held.

He has served in GOP leadership since 2009. Corman has said he would discuss his political plans after last Tuesday’s election, but has not returned a telephone message about it.

Wolf is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term. On the Democratic side, two-term state Attorney General Josh Shapiro has announced that he will seek the party’s nomination and his candidacy has thus far cleared the field of rivals.

The Republican field includes Lou Barletta, a former Hazleton mayor and four-term member of Congress who was the Republican nominee in his 2018 loss to Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey.

Pa. Republican lawmakers and the U.S. Capitol attack

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Sen. Corman (R-Centre) supported former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election-fraud lie by signing a letter urging members of Congress to delay certifying Pennsylvania’s electoral votes for Joe Biden, despite no evidence of voter fraud.

In October, Corman said he accepts Biden’s victory. But he maintains an ongoing election investigation being led by Senate Republicans is warranted.

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