The May 2014 primary elections for governor are 15 months away but, judging by our email inbox, prospective candidates feel like they are right around the corner. We've entered the "Hey, look at me!" phase of the political calendar. Consider:
- State Sen. Mike Stack is chatting up reporters about his interest in running for governor, trying to put himself in context with two Democrats considered top-tier candidates: U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and state Treasurer Rob McCord. Stack won another four-year term for his Northeast Philadelphia district last year and won't have to run for re-election until 2016. He is handing out campaign buttons that say "Mike Stack 2014 for Pennsylvania."
- Tom Knox, the Philadelphia millionaire who finished second in the 2007 Democratic primary for mayor, put out a news release Monday morning touting his hiring of Frank Keel, who does public relations work for unions and politicians, as a signal of his "serious intent to mount another campaign for political office." Which office? Who can tell? Knox briefly ran for governor in 2009 and 2010 and then flirted with running for mayor in 2011 as a Democrat and then an Independent. Knox says he is taking a "very serious look" at challenging Gov. Corbett's bid for a second term but is also looking at "other opportunities."
- Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor, who is mulling a primary challenge to Corbett next year, issued a news release Monday morning to "clarify PA's economic performance. Castor noted that Corbett recently claimed that Pennsylvania has created more private-sector jobs than surrounding state, a claim challenged by the Associated Press in Harrisburg.
- While many people are seeking attention for the top of the ticket, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli sent out a LinkedIn message Sunday announcing that he is "seriously considering" a run in the 2014 Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. Morganelli was the Democratic candidate in 2008 for state Attorney General, losing to Corbett.