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Schwartz's Bid for Governor Falls Short in Democratic Primary

May 20, 2014 By:
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U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz.

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, a Democrat who is Pennsylvania’s only Jewish and only female member of Congress, saw her bid to battle Tom Corbett for the state's top spot come to an abrupt end in the Democratic primary on May 20.

Schwartz, the only primary candidate with national political experience, was initially seen as the front-runner to win the party's nomination when she announced her intention in 2013 to become the first female governor in state history.

The five-term congresswoman, who represented parts of eastern Montgomery County and Northeast Philadelphia in the state's 13th District, appeared to have been hurt by voter antipathy to anyone directly associated with a Congress mired in the lowest public approval ratings in history. Analysts suggested she was also seriously weakened by a delay in defining herself and the race through advertising, lagging behind eventual primary winner, York County businesman Tom Wolf, who began aggressively advertising in state markets in January — a full two months before Schwartz's own ads began running.

Wolf won the nomination in convincing fashion, with over 50 percent of the vote in an election marked by typically light midterm primary turnout. Schwartz finished with under 20 percent of the vote at press time, although she posted slightly stronger numbers in Philadelphia, where she won over 30 percent of the vote.

Wolf will challenge incumbent Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, who was unopposed in the Republican primary.

The loss will come as a blow to many in the local Jewish community, where Schwartz, a daughter of a Holocaust survivor and a longtime member of Germantown Jewish Centre, received strong support. 

Schwartz has yet to announce what her future plans are. 

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