Food fight at the Oregon Diner?

Posted: May 23, 2014

MAYBE THEY SHOULD call it a "Democratic disunity" meeting?

York County businessman Tom Wolf will sit down for breakfast at the Oregon Diner in South Philly tomorrow morning with the three candidates he easily defeated in Tuesday's Democratic primary election for governor.

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, the city's Democratic Party chairman, asked the candidates last week to attend a "unity" meeting after the primary. They all agreed.

But former Gov. Ed Rendell, who is also attending, predicts no "kissing and hugging" after the nasty primary campaign among Wolf, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and state Treasurer Rob McCord.

"I'd call it a sit-down to talk about the disagreements during the campaign and see where we are going forward," said Rendell, dismissing the "unity" title. "I think people always look askance at politicians who, two days after a negative campaign, all of sudden kiss and make up."

Former state Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty, who mostly avoided the tactics Schwartz and McCord used to target front-runner Wolf, is also expected to attend.

Brady yesterday didn't share Rendell's concerns about the tone of tomorrow's breakfast. He predicts the three losers will give Wolf their full support.

"They're all on track," Brady said. "They're all saying the right things."

Rendell said the candidates won't be speaking to the media after the meeting.

Three of the four campaigns were silent yesterday on the issue, not responding to requests for comment about the meeting. A spokesman for Schwartz confirmed the meeting and said she is "committed" to beating Gov. Corbett in the Nov. 4 general election.

On the menu with eggs and scrapple will be the race card McCord played on Wolf, accusing him of failed leadership for serving as chairman of the re-election campaign for the York mayor, who was charged in 2001 and later acquitted on a murder charge for a 1968 race-riot death.

Wolf said during the primary that he was "instrumental" in getting the mayor to drop out of the race after the charges were filed.

Schwartz at times echoed McCord's efforts on that issue. She also targeted Wolf's practices at the family-run kitchen-cabinet-supply company he owns. Those attacks were similar to efforts by the state Republican Party, which started going after Wolf in the weeks before the primary.

Rendell seemed certain that Wolf, who served as his revenue secretary for 18 months, has something to say about all that.

"Tom Wolf is not your typical politician," Rendell said. "Tom's going to want to talk about some of these things."

Another possible topic of conversation: Schwartz's pronouncement to supporters after her loss Tuesday that "the political pundits, the media, the Harrisburg establishment couldn't believe a woman could serve as governor - couldn't even imagine it."

"I thought it was a little odd," Rendell said. "I'm sure Allyson believes it and feels it deeply."

On Twitter: @ChrisBrennanDN


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