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Former DEP Secretary John Hanger says he's a candidate for Pa. governor

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Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review Slugged: EPS GASwater 12 2 for a Napsha feature intended for publication on June 12, 2010.
Pennsylvania DEP secretary John Hanger photographed on June 11, 2010 at Reserved Environmental Services in Mt. Pleasant Township.

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By Timothy Puko
Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, 3:44 p.m.

Former state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger is the first to announce he intends to run for governor in 2014, staking an early spot in what could be a crowded field of Democrats.

Hanger, 55, of Hummelstown in Dauphin County plans official announcements in Philadelphia and Harrisburg on Wednesday and in Pittsburgh on Thursday, he said by phone Monday. He is building his campaign staff and declined to discuss his platforms or fundraising before those announcements.

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett noted this month that every governor since 1968, when the state constitution was amended to allow a second term, has served consecutive terms. “I don't plan on breaking that trend,” he said.

“We're going to be going early so we can put together a top-quality team,” Hanger, a lawyer, said. “It's obviously a big undertaking.”

It may be a big Democratic field, too.

York businessman Tom Wolf and Philadelphia millionaire Tom Knox have publicly declared interest in a gubernatorial campaign, inspired by big wins for Democrats in statewide elections this month, the Associated Press reported. High-profile officials including former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, state Treasurer Rob McCord and retiring state Auditor General Jack Wagner would not rule out gubernatorial runs in interviews for that story.

Timothy Puko is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7991 or

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