ALLENTOWN, Pa. - From Allentown to Harrisburg? It's been speculated on for the past year but now the city's top man says he's vying for the top spot in the state.
"Tomorrow in the city of Allentown I'm going to be announcing I'll be running for Governor in the state of Pennsylvania in 2014."
With that Sunday morning announcement on the MSNBC Mellissa-Harris-Perry show, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski's hat is officially in the 2014 gubernatorial ring.
"It would be wrong of me not to try and figure out how to right this ship and get on the right course," Pawlowski said.
Pawlowski, who is also running for his third term as Allentown's mayor, points to the state's stagnant job growth, crumbling infrastructure, and massive cuts in the state's public education system as reasons he's vying for Harrisburg.
"He should stay where he is, he is doing a good job here," Ray Erie of Allentown said, when asked if he liked the idea.
"Not being a resident of Allentown I haven't read much about him," John Beers of Emmaus added.
That lack of widespread name recognition is what political pundit Chris Borick says could be one of Pawlowski's biggest campaign challenges.
"In a crowded field he'd have to raise considerable resources to help get his name on the airwaves," Borick said.
Which takes money and lots of it. Borick estimates to win the Democratic primary, Pawlowski will need to raise $3 million, 10 million if he makes it to November.
The already crowded Democratic field includes U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty to name a few and State Treasurer Rob McCord is expected to enter soon.
To spread the word, Pawlowski will be embarking on a 20-county campaign RV tour.
So the question is: How will he keep running the city, while spreading his name at the same time?
"I will do this tour for nine days and be back running the city. We have some things that will need to be addressed, like hiring a new police chief and getting a budget presented. I will be in the trenches doing the work as well," Pawlowski said.
At this time Pawlowski's political action committee has raised a $112,000 but said he wouldn't enter the race unless he had the resources and ability to compete.
Allentown, PA 18102