Corbett launches 2014 reelection bid

Gov. Corbett isn't worried about his poll numbers, his campaign spokesman says.
Gov. Corbett isn't worried about his poll numbers, his campaign spokesman says. (STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer)

He will start in Pittsburgh. He heads to Phila. on Thursday.

Posted: November 07, 2013

PITTSBURGH — Gov. Corbett announced his reelection campaign for a second term Wednesday, saying he had made tough decisions over the last three years and that leadership is not about being "politically expedient.”

“We are not finished,” he told a crowded room of supporters at the Sen. John Heinz History Center.

“Were the decisions I made to get here tough? Yes. Were they politically expedient? Never,” the Republican governor said. “But leadership and governing is about doing what’s right, not what’s easy.”

In his 35-minute speech, Corbett focused on what he considers to be his administration’s successes instead of spelling out any goals for a second term.

More than a dozen time he said, “Promises kept.”

Corbett said his administration had reined in spending, balanced budgets, created jobs and had not raised taxes.

Economic accomplishments included an improved business climate in Pennsylvania and a growing energy sector, including Marcellus Shale gas drilling, he said.

Corbett also touched on what will perhaps be the issue on which he is most vulnerable: Public education funding.

“We have a responsibility to provide a good education to all children in Pennsylvania, but it starts with an honest discussion about education funding,” the governor said.

He said that when he came into office, federal stimulus money earmarked for education had masked the state’s declining ability to fund public schools.

When those dollars disappeared, there were no other funds he could turn to, Corbett said, prompting his administration to use what money was available to increase support for basic education.

After making his campaign at the same place he did four years ago, Corbett was slated to fly across the state for a stump speech in Pittston, Luzerne County. A stop in Philadelphia follows Thursday.

His campaign is dubbing the swing the "Corbett-Cawley Promises Kept Re-Election Tour," and will seek to highlight the administration's successes and goals for the next term.

Polls and pundits have identified Corbett as one of the most vulnerable incumbent governors. Last week, only 20 percent of respondents in a Franklin and Marshall College poll of 628 registered voters said he deserved reelection. The poll found 44 percent of Republican respondents said he should not seek reelection.

Corbett campaign press secretary Billy Pitman said the governor "has always said he's not worried about polling numbers, but about keeping his promises and doing what's right for Pennsylvanians."

Said Pitman, "He has a record that is going to contrast to what the other side is going to present."

At least eight Democrats are angling for the nomination to challenge him.


acouloumbis@phillynews.com

717-787-5934

@AngelasInk

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