Pa. state representative considers run for auditor general

    A Central Pennsylvania state representative says he’s considering a run for auditor general.

    York County Democrat Eugene DePasquale knows how to get his name in the news. He frequently appears on Harrisburg TV stations, talking up bills he authored that ban drivers from talking on cell phones, open up primaries to independents and allow early absentee voting, among other proposals.

    In a Tuesday interview, DePasquale said he’d take the same approach as auditor general. “You have to be aggressive publicly. Because not only is it important to find stuff out, you also have to make the case of why it’s important,” he said. “But, No. 2, I think you have to have credibility of working with both sides, as well.”

    DePasquale said concern over Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget and environmental policies is motivating his exploratory bid. But he insisted he’d treat the Republican fairly, if elected.

    “I will tell you that if I’m finding something the Corbett Administration does right, I’ll say they’re doing it right there,” he said. “Because the only way to have credibility, I think, is when someone’s right, you got to say they’re right. When they’re wrong, then you have the credibility to call them out on it.”

    DePasquale has been a state representative since 2007. He previously worked in the Department of Environmental Protection and for the city of York. In recent years, he’s worked with fellow Democrat Josh Shapiro to push a ban on talking or texting while driving. The legislation was a high-profile issue in the closing weeks of the 2009-2010 legislative session, but failed to become law.

    Sen. Anthony Williams of Philadelphia is also considering a run for auditor general. Last year’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Dan Onorato, has been mentioned as a potential candidate, too.

    DePasquale will spend the rest of the year “exploring” a 2012 campaign. He’ll “travel around the state, meet with local activists, meet with local chambers of commerce, local committee, because most of this is a primary function right now, to try and build support that way, and begin to make the case,” he said.

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