Four candidates for Pennsylvania governor favor constitutional convention

    Four of the six candidates for governor say they’d back some sort of limited constitutional convention to reform Pennsylvania’s state government.

    Four of the six candidates for governor say they’d back some sort of limited constitutional convention to reform Pennsylvania’s state government.

    Auditor General Jack Wagner, a Democrat, was the first candidate to back a constitutional convention to reduce the size of the General Assembly, implement campaign finance reform, and carry out other measures.

    At a Harrisburg debate, Democrats Dan Onorato and Joe Hoeffel, as well as Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett, said they’d support the effort, as well.

    Tim Potts of Democracy Rising PA has been advocating for a constitutional convention for several months now.

    He’s pleased the idea is gaining traction.

    “I was surprised that it took so long,” Potts said. “You know, in January, the Franklin and Marshall Poll said 72 percent of Pennsylvanians wanted a constitutional convention, and 72 percent didn’t know who they were supporting for governor. So you would expect some candidate to try and capture that 72 percent, and Wagner is now trying to do that more aggressively than the others.”

    Potts is hoping to place a convention referendum on the ballot this November.

    In order for that to happen, Potts says the General Assembly would need to pass a bill on the matter by early summer.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.