A race to rule the Commonwealth, and maybe defy history

Background

After eight years of Democratic rule, the Republicans are anxious to capture the Governor’s seat. Not since former Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, have Republicans won the Governor’s Seat. They held the seat until 2003 by Tom Ridge’s appointment of Mark Schweiker. This year the Republicans look poised to take back the office. With Ed Rendell finishing his second term, the Democrats have had to look elsewhere for a possible candidate. Conscientious of the current climate, the Democrats picked Dan Onorato who has a strong base in the areas that have been moving towards the Republicans. The Republican’s candidate, Tom Corbett, however seems poised to win. Playing into the Republican’s hand seem to be a rule of politics in Pennsylvania. As RealClearPolitics points out,

“The Pennsylvania governorship switches parties every eight years. The latter has been true since 1954, when Pennsylvania elected only its fourth Democratic governor since the close of the Civil War.”

Tom Corbett

The Republican Candidate has made a name for himself as a public attorney in consistently elevated positions. After a year as a public school teacher, Corbett left the school district and became Allegheny County’s Assistant DA. From there he rose up to his current post of Attorney General for the Commonwealth of PA. Corbett’s success as the AG has won him much support and respect. In fact, his 2008 Re-election campaign garnered him the title of being the most successful Republican in the state’s history in terms of largest vote total. This, in a year when Obama and the Democrats stormed the White House and the Hill. Corbett as best as can be determined is a “run of the mill” Republican, siding with his parties on every key issue.

Dan Onorato

The Democratic Candidate had a tough battle to earn that position. Onorato waged a well organized campaign against such strong PA politicians as Auditor General Jack Wagner, and state Senator Hardy Williams. Onorato not only proceeded to win, he managed to crush his opponents wining 45% of the vote with his closest competitor taking in only 24%. Running on his record as Allegheny’s Chief Executive, Onorato is running on an “outsider” campaign determined to shake up PA’s politics. Onorato may realize just what he is up against in this un-favoring year, as his own website sticks to safe topics such as “job creation, education, and protecting Pennsylvania’s large population of elderly citizens”.

The Battle

As fivethirtyeight breaks it down, right now Corbett is ahead by at least 10 points depending on the poll. Still, the race is not decided yet and considering PA’s flirtation with the Democrats two years ago, PA could still surprise most analysts and elect another Democrat.

Come back next week as we start to break down the battles for some of the key House of Representatives seats, including the seat currently owned by Senate Candidates Joe Sestak.

– K.R.

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  • About Us

    Pennforge is a group of college kids excited to follow the 2010 elections of Pennsylvania. We hope to highlight the candidates, the issues, and any race drama that may come up. Thanks for following!
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