Grossman and Party Officials React to Possible Dahlkemper Run - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Grossman and Party Officials React to Possible Dahlkemper Run

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Since losing her seat to republican Mike Kelly, democrat Kathy Dahlkemper has stayed active in politics, first weighing a run for mayor and now exploring a run for governor, but her own party officials didn't expect her to run for county executive.

"That she's considering running for county executive and governor at the same time, it is a real shock," said state and local party official Ian Murray.  "I knew that she was considering a run for governor."

"Normally we're made aware of it beforehand, they usually consult with us, but this caught us totally off guard," said Erie County Democratic Chairman Bill Cole.  "There was no one on our committee that was aware that she was going to enter the county executive's race."

Dahlkemper is out of the country but WICU/SEE News confirmed that her supporters are circulating nominating petitions on her behalf..  We also learned that robo calls went out to Erie County homes, polling voters about a Dahlkemper run for county executive.

Ian Murray hopes she decides not to run.  "My thinking is that she is going to come back and see what is on the ground as of today and hopefully she'll make the decision not to run, because I can't see where she's created the merit issues that would merit her running for county executive," said Murray.

We asked Barry Grossman for his reaction to the news.  He says anyone can run and if challenged in the primary he'll defend his record.  "Kathy and I have a good relationship, I respect Kathy, I think she was a good congresswoman," said Grossman, "but at the  end of the day it's about the voters." 

Grossman is most proud of his record of not raising taxes and putting merit selection processes in place for county hiring and says if he faces a primary challenge from Dahlkemper it's up to voters to decide.  "Every four years you have to get your report card," said Grossman.  I'm willing to take my case to the voters and if they say we want you four more years, I'm ready to serve.  If they don't, I'll go home content that I did the best I could."

A source close to Dahlkemper says she is leaning away from the governor's race because of some other prominent names in the running, including Congresswoman Allison Schwartz of suburban Philadelphia, who is polling well against Governor Corbett.  Also State Treasurer Rob McCord is another possible candidate.  That source says Dahlkemper is expected to announce her intentions for the county executive's race soon.@

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