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Corbett raises $7.5 million for reelection campaign

| Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, 5:39 p.m.

HARRISBURG — Republican Gov. Tom Corbett may be struggling in public opinion polls, but that didn't stop donors from giving him $7.5 million for his campaign.

That's the cash-on-hand figure Corbett released on Wednesday for the Jan. 31 filing deadline, campaign manager Mike Barley said. Corbett raised $6.8 million of that amount in 2013, the campaign said.

The primary is May 20, and the general election Nov. 4.

Some of the eight Democrats planning to challenge Corbett compiled large campaign accounts entering the year.

Democrat Tom Wolf, a York businessman, has said he'll have more than $13 million — $10 million of it his money. U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz of Montgomery County reported $6.5 million this month, with a $3.1 million transfer from her congressional campaign. State Treasurer Rob McCord, also of Montgomery County, has reported raising $6.6 million, $1.3 million of it from the 2012 treasurer's race and $1.7 million of his money.

Corbett has a potential opponent, conservative attorney Bob Guzzardi from Philadelphia, who says he won't raise or spend any money. He's counting on disgruntled conservatives to make a statement in the primary.

Guzzardi has an active blog and plans to campaign by Internet.

Corbett's campaign cash total isn't jaw-dropping for an incumbent governor but it's not bad, said Christopher Borick, a political science professor at Muhlenberg College in Allentown.

“I don't think people will say ‘Wow,' ” Borick said. In the end, Corbett will raise a substantial war chest. “He'll have adequate funds in the summer and fall to get his message out. I'm fairly confident he'll get what he needs.”

Corbett won't have to spend an enormous amount in the primary, Borick said.

Democratic donors could be tapped hard with at least eight candidates. “With Democratic fundraising circles, it's finite,” he said.

Brad Bumsted is Trib Total Media's state Capitol reporter. Reach him at 717-787-1405 or bbumsted@tribweb.com.

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