Endorsements for Schwartz, Hanger in Pa. gov race

Allyson Schwartz scooped up an endorsement Tuesday from the United Mine Workers of America union, a calling card that could give her some entrée in western Pennsylvania in a Democratic gubernatorial primary filled with candidates from the eastern region of the state.

“We have worked with Allyson for years, and she has always stood up for working men and women,” Ed Yankovich, the union’s International District 2 vice president, said in a statement. “That’s why we enthusiastically support her for Governor of Pennsylvania. Of all the candidates running, she stands out. She will bring effective leadership back to Harrisburg and will stand up for our members in western Pennsylvania and across the Commonwealth.”

Meanwhile, 13 families who say they have been harmed by gas drilling endorsed John Hanger for governor Tuesday. When he was secretary of environmental protection near the end of the Rendell administration, Hanger had helped the families and forced drilling companies to compensate them.

He also wrote the moratorium on further drilling in state forests, enacted safety regulations for drilling, more than doubled the regulatory staff and cited gas drillers for violations 1,200 times.

“While getting Bill Clinton’s endorsement would be nice, no endorsement could mean more to me than receiving this one from these families. I am deeply honored to accept the endorsement of these gas field families,” Hanger said. “I am committed to holding gas drillers responsible for following the law and for treating landowners fairly by honoring royalty payments and other requirements…when they damage a landowner’s property, they must be held accountable, fix the damage and compensate the landowner for the damage.”