Finances in forefront of the governor's race

Candidates detail wide funding gaps; Allentown mayor reportedly drops out

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Money, some say, is the first figurative primary.

And, in the race for the Democratic nomination for governor, it appears to have already pared one candidate as Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski was reported to be about to drop his candidacy. His hometown paper, the Allentown Morning Call, said that Mr. Pawlowski, who could not be reached for comment, would announce Monday that he was leaving the race while endorsing state Treasurer Rob McCord.

The leading fundraisers, including Gov. Tom Corbett, the Republican incumbent, had already disclosed some of the major details of their 2013 campaign finances before Friday's reporting deadline.

Mr. Corbett, who was to receive the uncontested endorsement of the state Republican Party this weekend, reported he had raised $6.8 million over the last year. With a carried over balance of $3.5 million, that put his total receipts at $10.3 million. Nearly a year before the general election, however, Mr. Corbett had spent $2.8 million, leaving him a cash balance of $7.5 million.

As expected, York County businessman Tom Wolf, largely on the strength of his own contributions, was the financial leader among the seven remaining Democrats vying for the chance to take on the governor. The former state revenue secretary, who this week began airing the first network television ads in the race, reported total contributions of $13.3 million, with just more than $10 million of that from the fortune he has made from his kitchen and building supply firm. He spent about $1.5 million in 2013, leaving him a balance of $11.8 million.

Mr. McCord raised $6.6 million. His spending was relatively modest at just more than $200,000, leaving him with $6.1 million in cash on hand. The treasurer, a former entrepreneur and venture capitalist, had previously announced he had contributed $1.7 million of his own to the campaign.

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Montgomery County, raised $6.5 million last year, including $3.1 million rolled over from her previous congressional account. Her campaign spent $1.9 leaving her with $4.6 million.

Katie McGinty, a former DEP secretary, raised $2.4 million, including $235,000 of her own funds. After spending nearly $600,000 in 2013, her available cash at the beginning of the year totaled just less than $1.8 million. She also reported campaign debt of $435,000.

John Hanger, another former DEP secretary, reported he had raised just more than $1 million, but most of that, $750,000, came form his own resources.

Max Myers, a minister from Cumberland County, reported receipts of $30,141. By Jan 1, he had spent most of that, however, leaving him with a cash balance of just more than $1,000, and more than $12,000 in debt.

Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz raised just $4,628 and spent $1,393.


Politics editor James O'Toole: jotoole@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1562.

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