Doherty to make announcement on state Senate race

It looks as if Democrat Chris Doherty might be getting out of the governor's race.

Mark Nevins, a political aide to the Scranton mayor, said Doherty will make an announcement on Thursday pertaining to his interest in the state Senate seat to be vacated at year's end by long-time Sen. Robert Mellow, who decided last week not to seek reelection.

Nevins had said previously that some people in politics were urging Doherty to forego the governor's race, in which he has been unable to raise much campaign cash, and try for the Senate seat. Mellow's 22d District includes the City of Scranton, in which Doherty recently began his third term as chief executive.

Doherty earlier explored whether to leave the governor's race and run for lieutenant governor. But that course of action was effectively blocked by former Philadelphia City Controller Jonathan Saidel, who won the party's endorsement on Feb. 6.

Today is the first day for party candidates in the 2010 Pennsylvania elections to circulate nominating petitions to get on the May 18 primary ballot. Nevins declined to say if Doherty had begun getting voter signatures for any office.

Other Democrats running for governor include Anthony Hardy Williams, a state senator from Philadelphia; Joe Hoeffel, a Montgomery Couty commissioner; Jack Wagner, the state auditor general, and Dan Onorato, the Allegheny County executive. Philadelphia businessman Tom Knox dropped out late last month.

The Republican contenders include state Attorney General Tom Corbett, who won his party's endorsement on Saturday, and state Rep. Sam Rohrer of Berks County.