KYW Newsradio is breaking a story on the 2010 PA Governor’s race. Currently, the two major Republicans likely to seek the office are former US Attorney Pat Meehan and current PA Attorney General Tom Corbett. Corbett seems to be making some serious moves. KYW reports that Corbett has reached out to former Attorney General opponent Bruce Castor. Castor is the former Montgomery County DA and currently serves as Montgomery County Commissioner. Corbett has also reached out to Philadelphia City Council Member Frank Rizzo.
According to the article, Meehan is perceived as a South East moderate.
While political leanings certainly will play into the 2010 Primary Election, you cannot discount electability.
Corbett won statewide in the 2008 Elections for Pennsylvania Attorney General. This victory came to Corbett in the same year that Obama smoked John McCain in Pennsylvania. Obama defeated McCain by a 55% to 44% margin. Corbett bested Morganelli by 52% to 46%.
2008 was yet another bad year for Republicans. Many house seats were lost and all of the row office positions were lost with the exception of AG. The only state-wide win was Tom Corbett’s race.
In that race, Corbett proved that against the best Democratic operation Pennsylvania has seen in a very long time, he can still carry the day. Conversely, Corbett won with a poor operation on the part of John McCain driving Republican turnout. Odds are, the Obama operation will be resurrected for 2010. If any lessons were learned from 2008, the Republican operation will not be worse than it was in 2008.
That being said, it will be difficult to replicate the level of urgency that the Democrats created in the 2008 election. Turnout is never as high as it is in a presidential election year. If Corbett could beat that operation with Obama on the ticket, he should be able to do the same against the Democratic nominee (today, the most talked about Democrats for the position are PA Auditor General Jack Wagner and Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato.) Republicans would be foolish to dismiss that kind of victory for a political newcomer.