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Harrisburg, Pa. — By now, most voters have probably heard concerning the congested, double-digit subject of contenders jockeying on this yr’s major race for the possibility to snag the state’s prime job of governor.
However there’s one other crowded major contest unfolding with far much less fanfare: that of lieutenant governor. In all, there are 12 folks operating to change into Pennsylvania’s second-in-command — two greater than within the governor’s race.
That uneven math is the results of Pennsylvania’s quirky guidelines for electing prime executives. The state is amongst a minority that elects its governors and lieutenant governors individually within the major, however then as a single ticket within the common election.
That election technique has produced some odd pairings through the years, most just lately in Gov. Tom Wolf’s first time period, throughout which his icy relationship with then-Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, pushed partly by how totally different they have been in each model and character, turned one of many worst-kept secrets and techniques within the Capitol.
On paper, because it stands now, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run individually through the major election.
Off the books, nonetheless, candidates usually align early on and marketing campaign collectively even within the months earlier than the first. That has been the case for this yr’s Could 17 major race with Legal professional Normal Josh Shapiro and state Rep. Austin Davis of Allegheny County on the Democratic finish; and Sen. Doug Mastriano of Franklin County and Teddy Daniels on the Republican aspect of the election poll.
However it’s all unofficial.
One lawmaker has tried for years to vary that. State Sen. Dave Argall (R., Schuylkill) launched laws again in 2017 to vary the best way voters choose the lieutenant governor. His proposal would enable Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial nominees to decide on a operating mate, much like how the president of the US selects one.
His measure, Argall stated on the time, was impressed by the strained relationship between Wolf and Stack.
Such a change would require a change to the state structure, which takes effort and time. A proposed modification should be permitted by the legislature in two consecutive two-year periods and the language should be an identical each instances. Then, voters have the ultimate say, deciding by way of a poll query.
Argall’s invoice handed for the primary time within the 2019-2020 session. It seemed to be on observe to be permitted within the present two-year session — setting the stage for it to seem on the poll this yr — however the proposal has been laden with extra proposed election-related modifications, clouding its future path.
What stays fixed for the second are the duties of the workplace. The lieutenant governor’s job is commonly described as among the finest within the Capitol as a result of it carries with it the clout of the chief — and pays $178,940 yearly — with out the work or pressures of being governor.
The lieutenant governorship has some prescribed duties, together with presiding over the 50-member state Senate and chairing the state Board of Pardons.
However past that, lieutenant governors are solely as highly effective as governors select to make them. A governor may delegate vital analysis or advocacy work to their lieutenant. Wolf, as an example, tasked Lt. Gov. John Fetterman firstly of his second time period with finishing a report on attitudes towards legalizing adult-use leisure marijuana.
Or they might ignore them utterly.
Right here is who’s operating for the workplace:
Austin Davis: A state consultant from the Mon Valley close to Pittsburgh, Davis labored for the Allegheny County authorities earlier than changing into a lawmaker in 2018.
Brian Sims: An legal professional and advocate for the LGBTQ neighborhood and ladies’s rights, Sims, of Philadelphia, was elected in 2012 to the Home of Representatives, changing into one of many legislature’s first overtly homosexual members.
Ray Sosa: A profession banker and insurance coverage agent from Montgomery County, Sosa additionally ran in 2018 for the job. He has been appointed by three governors to a number of state activity forces, together with ones on prison justice and emergency administration.
John Brown: A former elected government of Northampton County, Brown was the Republican get together’s nominee for auditor common in 2016, however misplaced to Democrat Eugene DePasquale. Highlight PA couldn’t find a marketing campaign web site for Brown.
Jeff Coleman: A former legislator, the Central Pennsylvania resident is a longtime political advisor who has labored to elect conservatives and advance conservative causes.
Teddy Daniels: A supporter of former President Donald Trump, Daniels is a retired police officer and Military fight veteran who based a safety/transport consulting agency. The Wayne County resident posted on social media that he was exterior the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Carrie DelRosso: The Allegheny County resident and first-term lawmaker made headlines in 2020 when she defeated the minority chief within the state Home.
Russ Diamond: A Lebanon County businessman who additionally turned a well known authorities reform advocate within the mid-2000s, Diamond was later elected to the state Home, the place he’s serving his fourth time period.
Chris Frye: The mayor of New Citadel in Lawrence County, Frye has labored in federal reentry and workforce improvement packages and was an adjunct professor at Slippery Rock College.
James Jones: The Montgomery County resident based and runs an oil and petroleum merchandise buying and selling enterprise, and has twice run for Congress up to now twenty years, each instances unsuccessfully.
Rick Saccone: A Western Pennsylvania resident, Saccone is a former state lawmaker who made an unsuccessful run for Congress in 2018. He was exterior the U.S. Capitol through the Jan. 6 riot.
Clarice Schillinger: A Bucks County resident, Schillinger based and ran political motion committees to assist elect faculty board candidates supportive of pushing again on pandemic-era restrictions on in-person studying.
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