Sen. Stack first out of the gate with nominating petitions

State Sen. Mike Stack of Philadelphia on Thursday became the first in a crowded field vying for the Democratic nomination in either the governor or Lt. governor’s race to file nominating petitions.

Stack, who is among seven candidates running to be the state’s second-in-command, collected 4,028 signatures — significantly more than the 1,000 required — to earn a spot on the May primary ballot.

The Philadelphia senator, who started the year with roughly $400,000 in his campaign coffers, said he plans to deliver another 4,000 signatures by Tuesday’s deadline to file nominating petitions.

“We want to show people how serious we are, and how committed we are as a campaign team,” Stack said in an interview Thursday, just before he dropped off his petitions.

In submitting signatures, Stack is the first candidate on either the Republican or Democratic side to file nominating petitions in the lieutenant governors’ race.

Stack is jockeying with six others to snag the Democratic nomination: Jay Paterno, the son of the late Penn State University football coach; former U.S. Congressman Mark Critz; Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski; Brenda Alton, a top aide to former Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson; state Rep. Brandon Neuman of Washington County; and Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith.

On the Republican side is Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley of Bucks County, who is running alongside Gov. Corbett. The Corbett/Cawley campaign has not yet filed its petitions.

The Democratic field competing to face off with Corbett in the November election is also packed. Seeking to take on the Republican governor are U.S. Sen. Allyson Schwartz, state Treasurer Rob McCord, onetime state Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf, former state Auditor General Jack Wagner, former state Department of Environmental Protection Secretaries Katie McGinty and John Hanger, and Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz.

--Angela Couloumbis

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