Dismal showing: Candidates and voters must elevate their game

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The race for governor is on. Now that York County businessman Tom Wolf is the Democratic nominee, the campaign will shift from one in which four candidates largely agreed on issues to one between two contenders with different views on how to move Pennsylvania forward.

Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, was unopposed in the primary, but his party already has taken on Mr. Wolf in ads aimed at changing the minds of Democratic voters. Based on that preview of coming attractions, the run-up to November could get ugly.

One lesson the candidates should take from Tuesday is voters were not persuaded by the negative messages of state Treasurer Rob McCord and U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz. But that’s probably wishful thinking.

There will be plenty of time to debate the merits of Mr. Wolf and Mr. Corbett. Today, congratulations are in order for the nominees, who include those for lieutenant governor — unopposed GOP incumbent James Cawley and Democratic state Sen. Mike Stack, who won in a crowded field — along with candidates who hope to represent Allegheny County in Congress and in the state Legislature.

Kudos also go to citizens who showed up to vote. There were far too few of them. Just 10 percent of Republicans voted, not surprising given that few contested races were on their ballot. Also disappointing, given the interest at the top of the Democratic ballot, was that only 20 percent of the party’s members in Allegheny County voted.

Here’s hoping the candidates conduct themselves well going forward, and that more voters participate in their democracy in the fall.

Meet the Editorial Board.

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