As many as eight Pennsylvania Democrats say they want to take on Governor Tom Corbett next year, and now there’s a Republican. Ardmore businessman and conservative activist Bob Guzzardi says he’ll be collecting signatures to challenge the incumbent in the May 20th party primary.
Guzzardi is a limited government conservative with an interesting plan. He doesn’t think he can win the governor’s mansion against Democrats in the fall.
“That would take at least ten million dollars,” he told me in a phone interview. “Who’s going to give me ten million dollars?”
But Corbett, he thinks, is another story. He sees Corbett as beatable, and plans to send a message to him and other Republican leaders who he believes have betrayed core principles with a transportation bill that will increase taxes and spending.
“My goal is to deny him the nomination, defeat Harrisburg Republican leadership and all its insider lobbyists and hacks and contractors,” Guzzardi said, “and then plan for 2018, the long game.”
2018 is the next governor’s race. I asked Guzzardi why he thinks he might win in 2018 if he doesn’t think he could beat the Democrats next year.
“I’m not running in 2018,” Guzzardi said. “My goal is to defeat Harrisburg Republican leadership and thereby open up the field for grassroots Republicans, whether they’re Constitutional Republicans, Campaign for Liberty, pro-life.”
“I don’t know how all these coalitions are going to work together. I don’t know how they’re going to get it done. I don’t know who’s going to be the leader,” he said. “I know with reasonable certaintly that if the current Harrisburg Republican leadership is still in place, there’s no chance of any kind of limited government.”
Guzzardi’s first job is to circulate nominating petitions and collect 2,000 signatures, with at least 100 each from ten counties to get on the May primary ballot. He has until March 11th.