Sparks Fly In Gubernatorial Primary as ABC Debate Approaches

Kristi Pronovost Merit Shop Spokesman Blog

By: Brent Sailhamer, Director of Government Affairs

The gloves have officially come off in the contentious Republican primary for Pennsylvania Governor. Last week, incumbent Tom Wolf reported nearly $15 million in campaign funds, while the state Republican party-endorsed candidate, Sen. Scott Wagner reported roughly $6 million. But he’ll be using some of that to get through the May 15th primary, which has heated up considerably over the past few weeks.

Just weeks after receiving the state Republican party endorsement, Sen. Scott Wagner is in the middle of a vicious campaign against fellow Republican Paul Mango that gets nastier by the day. The slugfest began with the launch of Wagner’s ad labeling Mango as a “liberal phony,” attacking his role as a healthcare consultant and his receipt of state contracts. Days later, Mango fired back with his own radioactive ad, prompting Republican leaders to call for the ad to be taken down. Rather than heed their warnings, Mango pledged to double down, signaling an all-out war for victory on May 15th. Meanwhile, attorney Laura Ellsworth has stayed above the fray, avoiding direct conflicts with either candidate and focusing her message against Governor Tom Wolf.

All of this is playing out just days before ABC’s planned debate between the three candidates on Monday, April 16th as part of the annual Free Enterprise Day advocacy event in Harrisburg. Moderated by WHP 580 AM’s RJ Harris, the debate will allow the candidates to explain their positions on free enterprise, workforce development and other crucial issues to ABC. For more information on attending or sponsoring the event, click here.

April 11, 2018