Endorsements trickling in for gubernatorial hopefuls in Pa.

Pennsylvania state Sen. Scott Wagner, who is running for the GOP gubernatorial nomination next year, has been urging fellow Republicans not to support a natural gas severance tax — in part because he thinks it would help Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf politically. (AP file photo)

Pennsylvania state Sen. Scott Wagner (AP, file)

The state Republican Party is starting its month-long series of meetings with candidates for governor and other top offices to decide who it will endorse next month.

It’s still anyone’s guess who the party will back, or even whether members will tap a gubernatorial candidate at all.

In the meantime, endorsements are rolling in from other organizations across the state.

The four GOP candidates — state Senator Scott Wagner of York County, House Speaker Mike Turzai, health care systems consultant Paul Mango, and attorney Laura Ellsworth, all from the Pittsburgh suburbs — strike similar, conservative tones on issues virtually across the board.

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But Wagner has begun to distinguish himself in terms of endorsements.

The senator has received the thumbs-up from a few dozen GOP county committee chairs and members, Congressman Scott Perry, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a handful of state House members, and at least 11 fellow senators, including GOP Majority Leader Jake Corman.

One of Wagner’s higher-profile nods came from former Trump Administration official Steve Bannon.

But he slightly distanced himself from Bannon after critical quotes about the president were attributed to the Breitbart executive.

A spokesman said that if the comments are true, “Scott doesn’t agree with them and believes that the attacks on the President and his family are wrong.”

Spokespeople for Mango, Turzai, and Ellsworth didn’t respond to requests for comment on endorsements they’ve received.

Mango, however, has publicly been endorsed by at least four Republican county commissioners from around the state, as well as Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton.

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