Castor may still challenge Corbett
Bruce Castor wants a rematch with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.
But the Montgomery County Republican, who lost a 2004 Attorney General primary race to Corbett, said it will be months before he decides whether Corbett is sufficiently vulnerable to merit the primary challenge he is exploring.
During a visit to Pittsburgh on Monday, Castor told Tribune-Review editors and reporters he doesn't want the GOP to repeat the mistake it made in 2006 by backing then-Sen. Rick Santorum for re-election. Santorum lost to Sen. Bob Casey Jr. by 17 percentage points.
Castor, 51, a former two-term district attorney serving his second term as Montgomery County commissioner, called Corbett a “ham-handed” politician who has failed to deliver on a conservative agenda. He said Corbett blew his opportunity to push through conservative priorities, such as a right-to-work law, early in his term when his popularity was at its height and Republican majorities controlled the Legislature.
“He has not been out front in getting the House and Senate to go along with the vision he has articulated,” Castor charged.
Corbett campaign manager Mike Barley said the governor has built a strong conservative record, despite inheriting a $4.2 billion deficit.
“He laid out his vision for Pennsylvania and he's been executing that vision with smaller government and less taxes,” Barley said.
But Corbett faces plummeting poll numbers and last month the Cook Report, a national political newsletter, downgraded his 2014 re-election race from “leans Republican” to “toss-up.”
Castor conceded that could change.
“In February, I'd say he had no chance. I no longer think that. I think the governor has improved his standing with the party with his success with the liquor bill in the House. Even if it bombs in the Senate, I no longer think he has no chance,” Castor said.
Joseph DiSarro, chairman of the political science department at Washington & Jefferson College, said it is unlikely the 2014 race will be dominated by any single issue.
“Privatization is a brilliant move by the governor. ... If he gets this, it's a big win, but it's not the only issue,” DiSarro said, ticking off health care, the troubled Turnpike Commission and budget and taxes as other key issues.
“Thus far, budget and taxes are the only ones where he scores well,” DiSarro said.
Castor, who describes himself as more in touch with the GOP conservative base, voted to raise taxes in Montgomery County. He said the increase was necessary after years of corrupt government that he long railed against.
Although he has never won a statewide election, Castor's political career in southeastern Pennsylvania, where the highest concentration of voters lives, means he's already built broad name recognition in the state's most expensive media market.
Castor estimated he would need about $5 million to run a successful primary campaign.
Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff writer Mike Wereschagin contributed to this report.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Century Inn owner hopes to reopen Washington County landmark, gutted by fire, by end of next year
- Pittsburgh nonprofit 412 Food Rescue takes surplus food to needy
- Carrick crime ‘blitz’ shows early signs of success
- Alpine touring skiing movement faces uphill climb in Western Pa.
- Pittsburgh police deliver 2,500 Thanksgiving meals through program
- Legislators, Wolf agree on one thing: Higher work zone fines
- Police investigating after cab driver shot in Hazelwood
- Newsmaker: Kostas Pelechrinis
- Pet chiropractic more popular in Western Pa., but doubts linger
- Security policies limit ‘insider threat’ at airports, TSA says
- McCullough’s attorney alleges ‘peculiar’ behavior of judge in withdrawn motion