Hoeffel positions himself as the race’s progressive candidate

Joe Hoeffel is liberal, and he’s not afraid to let you know it.

The Montgomery County Commissioner officially kicked off his gubernatorial bid with appearances in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia today. At the state Capitol, he ran through the progressive issues he’d advance if elected: environmental protection, increased education funding, a graduated income tax, gay marriage and a pro-choice platform.

Hoeffel says Pennsylvania’s abortion laws are “burdensome,” and filled with “waiting periods and consent requirements and judicial bypasses. These are all put into the law twenty years ago in order to make it more difficult for women to exercise their reproductive rights. And it’s particularly hard on young women and poor women.”

Hoeffel is positioning himself to the left of his opponents with this stance. Auditor General Jack Wagner is pro-life, as is Dan Onorato — though the Allegheny County Executive says he wouldn’t change Pennsylvania’s abortion laws, if elected. Like Hoeffel, Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty is pro-choice.

Hoeffel also said he’d fight for gay marriage if elected, though he said he didn’t know whether that could become law during his tenure as governor.

Hoeffel held his event in the Capitol’s rotunda. Tom Knox drew grief from reporters for holding a December campaign press conference in the Capitol Media Center, but a  Department of General Services spokesman says while the Media Center is for government events only, the rotunda is fair game for political events


About pubradiopolitics
Scott covers state government and politics for Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WITF in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and WDUQ in Pittsburgh.

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