Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman formally kicked off his campaign for governor this week at a brewery in his home town of Bellefonte.
“We need a governor who’s uninterested in putting government first, but putting people first,” he told a crowd of supporters.
Corman, a Republican in his first year as Senate President Pro Tem, said his campaign will start with a Restore Freedom Listening Tour designed to collect feedback from constituents about the issues they’re most concerned about. The launch took place at Axemann Brewery, located in a former metal factory where Corman worked to secure funds to redevelop, helping to create jobs in his community.
At the Tuesday event, Corman focused on three key areas he said are critical for Pennsylvania’s future.
“The first is protecting our freedoms,” he said. “That may sound trite and before 18 months ago we all might have taken for granted what our freedoms are. I’m a big believer that is the cornerstone of this country.”
“Our founding fathers instilled power within the people, not the government,” he said before turning to education.
“We have to have a first class education system across the board, and it starts in our public schools,” he said. “Which is why I’m very proud I’ve voted for record levels of funding for our public schools here in Pennsylvania.”
The most important issue, he said, is public safety.
“We can’t have freedoms, we can’t have good jobs, we can’t have a good education environment, if we don’t have safe streets,” he said. “We have to have safe streets.
“I’m running for governor to do the job of the governor,” Corman said.
The 57-year-old has made a career in politics, working with U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and the Pennsylvania Builders Association in the 1990s before taking over his father’s 34th District Senate seat in 1999. Doyle Corman served as a Pennsylvania state senator for over two decades.
Several supporters, including Centre County Commissioner Steve Dershem, Sue Paterno and Corman’s daughter, Bella, spoke in support at Axemann Brewery on Tuesday, according to the Centre Daily Times.
“Senator Corman, Jake, has made such an impact on our area, and if that can be extrapolated out across this commonwealth, we’re going to be in a very great place as a state,” Dershem said.
Most recently, Corman has led efforts to end Gov. Tom Wolf’s school mask mandate, investigate the 2020 election and 2021 primary, and expand rights for gun owners.
Corman continued his “People First” campaign with a stop on Wednesday with Sen. John Yudichak at the I2M manufacturing plant in Mountain Top, before heading to Luzerne County later that day. The tour made stops on Thursday in Erie, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. The locations included a charter school, metal fabricator, and research and development site, places he said offer unique perspectives on issues he’s promising to tackle as governor, according to the Times Leader.
“We will solve these problems together, the people want to be involved and we will do everything we can to make it happen,” Corman said in Mountain Top. “The current governor didn’t trust you. I will.”
Corman joins 11 Republican candidates already vying to replace Gov. Tom Wolf, who is term limited. Other top contenders include U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta and William McSwain, former U.S. District Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is currently the only Democrat in the race.
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