Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett will face no shortage of competition in this year’s gubernatorial election.
As of Tuesday’s 5 p.m. deadline, seven candidates have filed their candidacies for the Republican and Democratic primaries this May.
The cast seeking to block Corbett’s bid for reelection includes fellow Republican Bob Guzzardi and six Democrats: Robert McCord, Allyson Schwartz, John Hanger, Jack Wagner, Katie McGinty and Tom Wolf.
Corbett defeated Democratic opposition member Dan Onorato in 2010 by a margin of 54 to 46 percent. Since then, however, his approval ratings have continued to decline with 65 percent of voters in 2013 expressing disapproval of Corbett in a November public policy poll.
This has opened the door for a slew of candidates to challenge him during this election season.
Guzzardi, an attorney and conservative activist, will seek to overtake Corbett in the Republican primaries. He advocates for smaller government, less regulations on the free market and a steep reduction of government spending.
Over on the other side of the aisle, Pennsylvania Democrats are itching to seize the momentum from Corbett’s declining ratings and reclaim the executive office previously held by Democrat Ed Rendell from 2003 to 2011.
Among them is Robert McCord, a venture capitalist and the state’s treasurer since January of 2009. He believes that the way to address economic woes is to invest in new businesses, invest in commerce and culture and to invest in infrastructure.
Tom Wolf, the current front runner in the polls, seeks his first election into office after previously being appointed by former Governor Ed Rendell as Secretary of Revenue in 2006. His campaign emphasizes the importance of strengthening the middle class.
Wolf grew up in York, Pennsylvania. He went on to attain degrees from Dartmouth College (Bachelors), The University of London (Masters) and M.I.T. (Ph.D.) before joining the Peace Corps and eventually becoming a businessman.
Allyson Schwartz, the current congressional representative for PA-13, has left an open field in her district’s election in order to pursue her gubernatorial aspirations. She plans to stimulate Pennsylvania’s lowly ranked job growth by investing in main streets, historical districts, small business training and development, and growing industries such as life-sciences and clean energy.
Attorney and former Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty, meanwhile, has prioritized her campaign by stating that her first action in office would be to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. McGinty is a native of northeastern Philadelphia.
Also representing the State Environmental Protection Agency is John Hanger, who, similarly to McGinty, is a licensed lawyer and has served as the DEP’s Secretary. He has made a name for himself by lobbying for the legalization and taxation of marijuana in Pennsylvania.
Rounding out the list is Jack Wagner, an ex-state auditor and former Pittsburgh City Councilman. Wagner was a Purple Heart recipient as a member of the Marine Corps. He previously finished second in the four-person Democratic primary field in the 2010 gubernatorial election.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will hold primary elections on May 20.
The filing deadline for third-party candidates and independents is Aug. 1.