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Politics & Government

Allentown Mayor Announces Candidacy for Democratic Gubernatorial Primary

As the Democratic field for Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial primary gets more crowded, the chances for lesser-known candidates may increase.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski is the latest to jump into the fray, becoming the seventh Democratic candidate to throw a hat in the ring, and the first to come from the northeastern part of the state.

Thomas Baldino, a political science professor at Wilkes University in Luzerne County, said with more candidates expected to enter, Pawlowski actually does stand a chance.

"I wouldn’t put him among the darkest of the dark horses, if I may put it that way," Baldino said. "He has a base in the Allentown area. He has name recognition there. If he can raise sufficient funds so he can make inroads in another part of the state, he could eke out a victory, assuming the rest of the state is divided."

Baldino notes, however, that statewide support for Democratic candidates isn’t so fractured as to make campaign fundraising and statewide name recognition irrelevant.

On that front, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz is trying to stake a claim as the frontrunner, as many await an official candidacy announcement from state Treasurer Rob McCord.
Also hailing from the southeast is former state Department of Environmental Protection Kathleen McGinty.

From the south central part of the state comes another former DEP secretary, John Hanger.
Central PA candidates also include York County businessman Tom Wolf, Cumberland County pastor Max Myers and Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz.