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Corbett to kick off re-election bid

| Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, 7:51 p.m.

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett will formally open his re-election campaign next week with a multi-city tour of the state, Republican Party officials said on Friday.

Next Wednesday's announcement by Corbett was expected to start in Pittsburgh at the Heinz History Center, with trips that day to cities in the state's other media markets, including Philadelphia and possibly Johnstown, Erie and Harrisburg, Allegheny County Republican Party Chairman Jim Roddey said.

Corbett's campaign manager did not respond to a request for comment. Campaign officials have said the governor likely would make the announcement after Tuesday's election.

Chester County Republican Party Chairman Valentino DiGiorgio said he and other party officials are organizing other local events next week that are tied to Corbett's announcement. Those include a Friday morning fundraiser to be followed by a Republican women's luncheon in Chester County, DiGiorgio said.

No GOP candidate has announced a primary challenge to Corbett, despite grumbling among some party officials about Corbett's lackluster popularity in independent polls.

After spending his first two years drumming out a conservative message of fiscal austerity, smaller government and the need to improve the state's business environment, Corbett is overhauling his message to focus on his plan to improve health care in Pennsylvania and the need for the Legislature to pass a comprehensive transportation funding bill.

On Thursday, Franklin and Marshall College released an unfavorable poll of Corbett, with just 20 percent of the 628 registered voters surveyed saying Corbett deserves re-election.

In the meantime, eight Democrats, including U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and state Treasurer Rob McCord, are saying they are seeking their party's nomination to challenge Corbett in the 2014 general election.

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