A Philadelphia state senator who for months toyed with the idea of running for Pennsylvania governor in 2014 said Thursday he will seek the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor instead.
Even as Sen. Mike Stack announced his change in plans, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, the Philadelphia City Democratic Committee chairman who had supported Stack's gubernatorial ambitions, endorsed U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz in what could be an eight-way primary race for governor.
"Allyson is smart, tough and principled. I am proud to strongly support her," Brady said.
Stack campaign spokesman Ken Snyder said the senator opted not to run for governor because it would be difficult to raise enough money to be competitive and because so many of the candidates share his political views.
"It would have been challenging in that field in terms of money, especially when the distinctions on the issues don't really exist," Snyder said.
While the candidates generally do not have to begin reporting on their campaign finances until January, Schwartz funneled more than $3 million from her previous campaign committees into her gubernatorial campaign. York businessman Tom Wolf, a former state revenue secretary, has vowed to sink at least $10 million of his own money into his primary campaign.
March 11 is the last day for candidates to file nominating petitions to get on the May 20 primary ballot.
At least three other Democrats have said they intend to run for lieutenant governor: former U.S. Rep. Mark Critz, Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski and Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith.
Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run separately in the primary and the winners are joined on party tickets for the general election.
Other Democratic gubernatorial candidates are state Treasurer Rob McCord, former state environmental protection secretaries John Hanger and Katie McGinty, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz and Pentecostal minister Max Myers.