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Monday, February 3, 2014

Allentown mayor Pawlowski withdraws from Gov's race; endorses McCord

Posted By on Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 12:34 PM

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Confirming reports from late last week that he was ending his campaign for Governor of Pennsylvania, Democratic Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski officially withdrew from the race and threw his support behind Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord.

“It has been a good campaign and we have accomplished several of our key objectives, most importantly, drawing attention to the need for economic development and more jobs for Pennsylvanians,” Pawlowski said in a release following a Monday morning press conference in Allentown with McCord. “But the truth is that it takes a lot of money to run for a state leadership position and raising that money takes a lot of time,” he continued. "Because of my duties as Mayor of the third largest City in the State, I simply was finding it difficult to run a city and spend the 8 to 10 hours a day fundraising that is needed to run an effective campaign.

"Every time I sat down to make fundraising calls, another issue with the City would come up. My time and focus needs to be concentrated on the continued revitalization of Allentown."

Both men were in Pittsburgh Jan. 26 as part of an eight-candidate debate between the Democratic hopefuls looking to unseat Incumbent Republican Tom Corbett.

Of McCord, Pawlowski said, “We have had some very good talks, and I believe this is the person who can lead Pennsylvania to a new and brighter future.”

“Mayor Pawlowski and I share a common vision for the future of Pennsylvania,” McCord said. “We both believe in the power of education and economic development and the core need for safe neighborhoods. And we both know that, with appropriate innovation and investments, the best days of our Commonwealth are ahead of us.”

The full release is after the jump.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski Throws Support To Democrat Rob McCord For Pennsylvania Governor

Pawlowski Withdraws From Race To Continue Economic Development Progress In Allentown

Allentown, Pa. — Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, who announced in September that he was running for Governor of Pennsylvania, said today that he is withdrawing from the race and throwing his support behind Treasurer Rob McCord.

“It has been a good campaign and we have accomplished several of our key objectives, most importantly, drawing attention to the need for economic development and more jobs for Pennsylvanians,” Pawlowski said.

“But the truth is that it takes a lot of money to run for a state leadership position and raising that money takes a lot of time,” he continued. "Because of my duties as Mayor of the third largest City in the State, I simply was finding it difficult to run a city and spend the 8 to 10 hours a day fundraising that is needed to run an effective campaign. Every time I sat down to make fundraising calls, another issue with the City would come up. My time and focus needs to be concentrated on the continued revitalization of Allentown. I owe it to the people who elected me to a third term, to focus my attention on Pennsylvania’s third-largest city and continue the great progress we have made there over the past eight years. Stepping down will allow me to focus all of my energy on the job that I really love: Being the Mayor of Allentown."

In supporting McCord, Pawlowski said he is confident that McCord will continue to push for family sustaining jobs and the type of economic development that will return Pennsylvania to a leadership position in economic development across the nation.

“We have had some very good talks, and I believe this is the person who can lead Pennsylvania to a new and brighter future,” Pawlowski said. “As we move into the most competitive time during the primary campaign, it is important that we focus on what is really important — getting new leadership in the Governor's office and reversing the damage inflicted to the Commonwealth over the past four years.”

Joining Pawlowski at the podium were several local elected officials who will also now support McCord, including State Representative Mike Schlossberg, Whitehall Mayor Ed Hozza, Allentown City Council President Julio Guridy, Allentown City Council members Pete Schweyer and Cynthia Mota, and several other elected officials. Because of the snow, many were unable to attend, but announced their endorsement of McCord including State Representative Dan McNeill and Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer.

“Mayor Pawlowski and I share a common vision for the future of Pennsylvania,” McCord said. “We both believe in the power of education and economic development and the core need for safe neighborhoods. And we both know that, with appropriate innovation and investments, the best days of our Commonwealth are ahead of us.”

As a candidate, Pawlowski focused on his success in bringing development and jobs to Allentown where there is currently $1 billion in construction underway and thousands jobs on their way. He also pushed for a return to stable funding for Pennsylvania’s public schools, a farmer-friendly agriculture policy that would preserve and expand the Commonwealth’s largest industry, and the adoption of the federal Affordable Care Act to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to Medicaid and other insurance benefits.

“We brought much-needed attention to the critical issues facing our state and I learned a lot about the challenges facing every corner of Pennsylvania,” Pawlowski said. “These challenges are not being met by the incumbent. We need to come together now as Democrats and ensure that we elect a governor who can make Pennsylvania a better place for all residents, all businesses, and most importantly, for our children. The future is theirs.”

Like Pawlowski, McCord has also taken innovative steps that repaired the $1.5 billion PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan, taking it from 70 percent to 100 percent funded in three years, making college more accessible for families across the state. McCord has also led a record-breaking turnaround in investments in one of the most challenging markets in history.

Under his leadership, Treasury generated historically strong investment returns and more than $2.1 billion for the state, and McCord helped generate many billions more in returns for the state’s two large pension funds. McCord has innovatively streamlined operations, cut costs, and dramatically improved productivity to manage the agency as a “profit center” for the Commonwealth, generating four times more money than it costs to run the independent department — even before counting profits from Treasury’s investments.

McCord praised Pawlowski’s record of thinking outside the box and looking for innovative solutions to the problems so many Pennsylvania cities face. Mayor Pawlowski has delivered some breathtakingly positive results, including a fully-funded pension, unprecedented economic development, and safer, more livable communities, he added.

"Mayor Pawlowski and I also both know we need to replace Pennsylvania's current governor with a pragmatic innovator who understands the struggles of working families,” McCord said. “In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to working closely with Ed so we can bring our shared vision to life — and increase opportunities and the supply of good jobs across Pennsylvania.”

“The most important thing now is to bring strong, effective leadership back to Pennsylvania,” Pawlowski said. “I am confident that Rob can do that and I urge Democrats to get behind him.”

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