PENNSYLVANIA

Racial Issues Come to the Fore During Democratic Primary Debate

McCord, Wolf spar in two new TV ads; Corbett radio ad takes aim at Wolf and Schwartz, testing messages against two possible opponents.

Karyn Bruggeman
May 1, 2014, 7:21 a.m.

If ob­serv­ers felt like the Demo­crat­ic primary was cor­di­al and “gloves-on” to this point, things took a turn for the neg­at­ive at a can­did­ate de­bate Wed­nes­day night. State Treas­urer Rob Mc­Cord (D) and Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-13) took dir­ect aim at fron­trun­ner Tom Wolf (D), and chal­lenged his “judg­ment for stand­ing by two friends who be­came mired in sep­ar­ate high-pro­file crim­in­al cases.” Mc­Cord “ques­tioned why Wolf agreed to chair the 2001 re-elec­tion cam­paign of then-York May­or Charlie Robertson, who was charged with murder in the fatal shoot­ing of a black wo­man dur­ing the city’s 1969 race ri­ots.”

“‘We need to have a gov­ernor who knows ra­cism when he sees it,’ said Mc­Cord, whose wife is black.” Schwartz jumped in an “also ques­tioned Wolf’s pub­lic sup­port” for former state Rep. Steph­en Stetler (D) “after he was con­victed of cor­rup­tion and sent to pris­on.” (News Times)

In a meet­ing with the Phil­adelphia In­quirer‘s ed­it­or­i­al board Mc­Cord said: “I’m go­ing to be in­tro­du­cing the words ‘ra­cism’ and ‘char­ac­ter’ and ‘judg­ment’ in­to the con­ver­sa­tion,” over the Robertson is­sue, but ad­ded “That kind of poor judg­ment doesn’t mean some­body’s a ra­cist, and I’m cer­tain Tom is not.” (Phil­adelphia In­quirer)

FRIENDLY FIRE. Mc­Cord took his long-shot fight against Wolf to the air­waves Wed­nes­day with a new TV ad tar­get­ing Wolf ‘s fam­ily kit­chen cab­in­et com­pany for es­tab­lish­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions in In­di­ana, not Pennsylvania. Mc­Cord points to his own re­cord of job cre­ation in the state and says “Tom Wolf’s ads are nice, but they’re miles away from the whole truth.” (Polit­ic­sPA.com)

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Wolf re­spon­ded to his op­pon­ents at­tacks with an­oth­er new TV ad of his own. In it, Wolf says “It’s no sur­prise the politi­cians are at­tack­ing me. That’s just what they do.” He doesn’t of­fer spe­cif­ics and in­stead trans­itions to pro­mot­ing his re­cord. The ad is not yet avail­able on­line. (Polit­ic­sPA.com)

TWO TAR­GETS. Gov. Tom Corbett (R) also re­leased a new ra­dio ad Wed­nes­day tar­get­ing both Wolf and Schwartz, who his camp ap­pears to view as the two can­did­ates he’s most likely to face in Novem­ber.The ad fo­cuses on Schwartz’s “ex­treme lib­er­al agenda” on Obama­care and gun con­trol, and paints Wolf as the state’s “top tax col­lect­or” and a “job killing bur­eau­crat” dur­ing his time as state rev­en­ue sec­ret­ary. (re­lease)

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