Campaign finance report shows Pa. gubernatorial candidates are miles apart

    Campaign finance reports released Thursday show Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett with a $2-million lead over Democratic rival Dan Onorato. But Corbett’s margin is far from decisive.

    Campaign finance reports released Thursday show Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett with a $2-million lead over Democratic rival Dan Onorato. But Corbett’s margin is far from decisive.

    Corbett, the State Attorney General was able to conserve his cash this spring, because he had no serious opposition in the Republican primary. So he has $3.5-million on hand, compared with just about $1-million for Onorato, the Allegheny County Executive.

    Onorato actually raised far more than Corbett, but he spent nearly $10-million winning a four-way Democratic primary.

    Muhlenberg College political scientist Chris Borick says Onorato’s money wasn’t wasted.

    Borick:
    His money spent in the primary campaign can be seen as an investment. Those ads that were introducing him to Democratic voters were also seen by Republican voters, and his name recognition is much higher than it was at the beginning of the year.

    Both candidates will need far more than they have now to wage effective TV advertising campaigns across the state. In 2002, the last time the governor’s seat was open, Governor Ed Rendell spent $23-million on the general election campaign.

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