U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Philadelphia, said Friday she is preparing to set up a state fundraising committee as her first official step toward a likely 2014 campaign for Pennsylvania governor.
The fifth-term Democratic congresswoman stopped short of declaring her candidacy, but said she will file papers to create a political-action committee "in the next few weeks or a month or so."
"I do intend to run for governor in 2014," Ms. Schwartz told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
Ms. Schwartz, 64, is the only woman in what could be a crowded fight for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, who is battling anemic job approval ratings in independent polls as he prepares to launch an expected re-election bid.
Former state environmental protection chief John Hanger declared his candidacy in November. Prospective candidates include former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak and state Treasurer Rob McCord, who like Ms. Schwartz both hail from the heavily Democratic Philadelphia region, and former state Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf of York County.
Ms. Schwartz's federal campaign committee has about $3 million that can be transferred to a state campaign committee.