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McCord may announce for governor's race today

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By The Associated Press
Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, 8:48 p.m.

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania's state treasurer, Rob McCord, appeared ready to announce on Tuesday that he is officially entering a crowded Democratic field vying to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in next year's election.

McCord scheduled announcements for Tuesday at Montgomery County Community College and an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers facility in Pittsburgh. A campaign consultant would not say what McCord will announce, and party officials said they had not been told the nature of the event.

However, McCord has signaled for months that he would enter the race. He has hired a campaign staff and filed paperwork with state election officials to establish the McCord for Governor political action committee to create an account to begin raising money.

McCord, a venture capitalist before he won his first election in 2008 to become treasurer, worked in Washington for a decade. There, he gained exposure to the technology sector, first as an aide to then-Rep. Norman Mineta, who represented California's Silicon Valley in Congress, and later as the CEO of the nonprofit Congressional Institute for the Future.

He went to work for Safeguard Scientifics Inc., learning the craft of venture capitalism before helping to start four private enterprises that fed capital to technology and biotech firms.

Among his investors were pension funds and the state of Pennsylvania. He found success, he has said, in helping tech startups get loans, and compiled a Rolodex of wealthy investors and money managers.

McCord was re-elected last year to a second four-year term as treasurer, raising millions of dollars in both of his races — he even drew about $1 million from his own wallet in the 2008 Democratic primary.

The field of Democrats vying to challenge Corbett is more than a half-dozen strong. Thus far, it includes U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, York County businessman and former state Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf and two former Environmental Protection secretaries, Katie McGinty and John Hanger.

Hanger, McGinty and Wolf served under former Gov. Ed Rendell. McGinty served in President Clinton's administration, and Hanger served as one of five state Public Utility Commission members.

Other declared candidates are Pentecostal minister Max Myers and Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz. Considering running are state Sen. Michael Stack of Philadelphia and former state Auditor General Jack Wagner of Pittsburgh.

Corbett is a conservative who keeps a low profile and is beset by sagging public approval ratings.

The Democratic primary is on May 20. To get on the primary ballot, a candidate must gather 2,000 signatures of registered Democratic Party voters, including at least 100 from each of 10 counties.

The deadline for filing nominating petitions is March 11.

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