A long-time top aide to former state Auditor General Jack Wagner of Pittsburgh says he and others are circulating nominating petitions for Democrat Wagner's bid for governor.
Rob Teplitz, now a first-term Democratic state Senator representing Dauphin County, tells the Daily News that after speaking with Wagner last weekend he and other Wagner allies this week began circulating petitions on Wagner's behalf.
Teplitz was Wagner's chief counsel and policy director during Wagner's eight years as auditor general and also worked for Wagner during the time Wagner was a state Senator.
Wagner, 66, would be the only Western Pennsylvania candidate in an already-crowded field running in the May 20 Democratic primary.
His candidacy would bring built-in statewide name ID and a geographic edge to the race.
But it also could bring Wagner fatigue.
Last year, he lost a primary bid for mayor of Pittsburgh. In 2010, he lost a primary bid for governor. In 2002, he lost a primary bid for lieutenant governor. And in 1993, he lost his a primiary bid for mayor.
In addition to twice winning the office of auditor general, he also was elected to Pittsburgh City Council and the state Senate.
In order to get on the primary ballot, candidates for governor must collect 1,000 registered-voter signatures, including at least 100 from 10 different counties, by March 11.
Tuesday was the first day petitions could be circulated.
Wagner could not be reached for comment.