State Treasurer Rob McCord took a significant step Tuesday toward running for governor in next year's crowded Democratic primary.
McCord filed paperwork with state election officials to establish the McCord for Governor political action committee. That gives him an account to begin raising money for a race that he is widely expected to enter.
The Democratic primary winner will challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.
A McCord campaign spokesman, Mark Nevins, would not say when exactly McCord will declare his candidacy. But Nevins says McCord is ``putting the pieces in place'' to deliver the kind of change that voters and community leaders have told McCord they want.
Corbett, the former state attorney general, is popular with many business groups and social conservatives because of his pursuit of business-friendly policies and opposition to the 2010 federal health care law, gay marriage and abortion rights.
Democrats view him as vulnerable because of his low approval ratings after carrying out a series of cuts to public school aid and health care and social services programs.
A Quinnipiac University poll released last week showed Corbett facing a skeptical electorate: 52 percent of registered voters surveyed said Corbett does not deserve to be re-elected, and 48 percent disapproved of the job he is doing. The pollsters surveyed 1,032 registered voters by telephone between May 30 and June 4 and reported a sampling margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
McCord, a 54-year-old former venture capitalist from Montgomery County, won a second term as treasurer last year and has publicly tangled with Corbett on policy
He challenged the wisdom of Corbett's plan to overhaul the state's major public pension systems and the legality of a plan to expand gambling under a private manager Corbett wants to hire for the Pennsylvania Lottery. His office also has held up payments to a private company Corbett's administration hired to upgrade and manage the state's executive branch websites.
Among the others declaring their intention to run are U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz; Wolf Organization Inc. chairman and CEO Tom Wolf; two former state environmental protection secretaries, John Hanger and Kathleen McGinty; and minister Max Myers.