Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor is mulling a challenge to Gov. Corbett in the 2014 Republican primary election. Castor cites three reasons for thinking Corbett is vulnerable.
Corbett's role as state attorney general in the Penn State child abuse scandal that sent former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky to prison is about to get a close review by a Democrat, Attorney General-elect Kathleen Kane. "It could get very uncomfortable for the governor in very short order," Castor said.
Corbett's political party controls both chambers of the General Assembly but Castor sees "a visceral lack of comfort between the governor and the legislature."
Corbett's pick for the attorney general's race, Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed, was trounced by Kane in the Nov. 6 general election. "I realized that was a proxy negative vote against Tom Corbett," Castor said.
A Castor primary challenge would likely result in a brutal race that brings up old fights. Castor ran without his party's support in the 2004 primary for attorney general, losing the Corbett. He has a less than cordial relationship with Bob Asher, the Republican National Committee member from Montgomery County who has been an ardent Corbett supporter.
Castor says he will decide by the spring whether to get into the race, giving him time to determine if he can raise the money to be competitive. To that end, Castor went public to PoliticsPA.com on Wednesday, aiming to start the conversation in advance of this weekend's Pennsylvania Society, the annual gathering of the state's political class in New York City.
"Sometimes the timing picks you and you don't pick the timing," said Castor, adding that he received several calls from supporters urging him to run after this year's general election. "I don't think anyone could have foreseen the position Gov. Corbett would be in halfway through his first term."