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POSTED: Sunday, September 8, 2013, 6:12 PM

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski joined the stampede of Democrats running for governor of Pennsylvania Sunday, via an announcement on the left-leaning national cable network MSNBC.

He touted economic development progress during his two terms as mayor of the state’s third-largest city and a reduction in crime as qualifications, asserting that Gov. Corbett, a Republican, had damaged the state with ineffective leadership.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 4, 2013, 1:25 PM

Pennsylvania should enact a 5-percent severance tax on natural gas production to generate as much as $13.2 billion over 10 years for public education, transportation, and property-tax relief, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a Democratic candidate for governor, proposed Wednesday.

“All Pennsylvanians deserve to share in the shale wealth,” Schwartz said during a conference call with reporters.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 4, 2013, 8:10 AM

Katie McGinty, a Democratic candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, wants to hike the minimum wage by 24 percent in hopes that putting more money in the pockets of working families will stimulate the state economy.

McGinty’s proposal would increase the minimum wage in the state from the federal level of $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour. She would include a provision for a cost-of-living adjustment tied to the Consumer Price Index to keep up with inflation.

POSTED: Thursday, August 29, 2013, 10:24 AM
Gov. Corbett silences his phone during a speech in Erie yesterday. He likewise declined a call from union president Wendell Young IV. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s (R) poll numbers continue to drop, according to a new Franklin & Marshall College survey of registered voters out Thursday morning with his lowest showing yet.

Only one in five voters believes Corbett has done a good enough job to have earned a second term, the poll found. As one might expect, 7 percent of Democrats and 22 percent of independents favor re-electing him at this point, but the shocking thing is that less than half of his fellow Republicans – 38 percent – agree.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 28, 2013, 7:55 AM

National pundits call Pennsylvania’s Republican Gov. Tom Corbett a “dead man walking” in the 2014 election cycle, citing his underwater approval ratings, lukewarm support from some in the GOP and a large Democratic field of challengers.

But the Democrats are swimming against deep historical currents, according a new analysis of the state’s voting patterns by Smart Politics, a numbers-crunching website from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

POSTED: Saturday, August 24, 2013, 12:17 PM
Allowing same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania "would be a measure of progress," U.S. Sen. Bob Casey said. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

SCRANTON - Without an introduction from the stage, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D.,Pa.) stepped into the gym at Lackawanna College Friday, preceding the president and vice president, and began shaking hands.

Cheers rose as the crowd recognized the hometown hero on sight.

POSTED: Friday, August 23, 2013, 10:01 AM
U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D. Pa.) has yet to announce she’s running. (Matt Rourke / AP)

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz’s campaign wants to prove to Democrats that she is the dominant primary candidate for governor with the best chance to beat Gov. Corbett – and that her identification with abortion rights is not the general-election vulnerability some in the party fear.

So the campaign this week released parts of two internal polls taken over the summer, one of likely Democratic primary voters, and the other of likely general-election voters.

POSTED: Thursday, August 22, 2013, 12:52 PM

Powerful Philadelphia building trades leader Pat Gillespie Thursday announced that he is supporting Katie McGinty in the 2014 Democratic primary for governor of Pennsyvlania.

"She knows how to create jobs for Pennsylvania’s men and women,” Gillespie said in a statement. "Katie is committed to rebuilding our middle class by supporting policies that will attract jobs that pay livable wages. Simply put, I support Katie McGinty for Governor because she’ll fight for working men and women and she is the strongest candidate to take on Governor Tom Corbett next fall.”

Gillespie has been business manager of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council since 1982, one of the best-known and respected labor leaders in the state. He was a union operating engineer, and later became a leader of Operating Engineers Local 542, before moving to the building-trades council.

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Inquirer staff writer Thomas Fitzgerald blogs about national politics.

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