A look at Metcalfe’s L-G run

Nine Republican candidates will be on the ballot for lieutenant governor this spring – including conservative firebrand Daryl Metcalfe.

The Butler County state Representative, says he doesn’t view the L-G’s position as a partnership with the governor. He’s vowing to take either Tom Corbett or Sam Rohrer out, if they take office and raise taxes. “If the governor goes the wrong direction – whoever it is – I will take that governor on in the next primary and take him out of the political office in which the people had placed him. In which he would have violated their trust if he does do those things such as increasing spending, increasing taxes or violating our freedoms.”

The party’s endorsed candidate, Bucks County Commissioner Jim Cawley, disagrees with that approach to the job, saying, “I’m not interested in using the lieutenant governor’s position as a weapon.”

So can Metcalfe win? He’s drawn heaps of attention — sometimes from overseas — for controversial comments about gays, lesbians, Muslims, veterans who support cap-and-trade legislation, and several other topics. He argues he’s also built up solid support from the state’s grassroots conservatives by focusing on issues they care about, “from Second Amendment coalitions, to those who are strong supporters of family values – the marriage between a man and a woman, protecting life. And the fiscal issues I’ve been working on. To try and reduce spending and reduce taxes. I’ve got a lot of folks across the state that support the work I’m doing to try and stop the excessive spending.” In a 9-way race, that conservative support could lead to victory.

Political scientist Christopher Borick of Muhlenberg College still gives the advantage to Cawley, saying the party endorsement carries weight in a race like the lieutenant governor primary, where voters aren’t paying close attention to the candidates.

You have to imagine Team Corbett isn’t thrilled about the possibility of sharing a ticket with Metcalfe, though — Democrats would certainly churn out mailer after mailer reprinting his more controversial comments and positions. The Tribune-Review’s Brad Bumsted takes a look at that scenario in his weekend column.

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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