Here's how badly six Democrats want Mike Stack's job.
On Saturday, they endured a deep freeze, a packed opening day at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, three hours of a Penn Ag Democrats luncheon (meatloaf, gravy, veggies, a potato thing), awards presentations, and speeches by Bob Casey and Tom Wolf.
All to get five minutes each to tell a couple hundred folks why they should be Wolf's running mate this time around.
So it goes when you screw up, as Stack did, one of the sweetest gigs in American politics.
Stack spoke Saturday, too. But he came late, long after lunch, awards and speeches. Even after some of the crowd had left. Long after Wolf had made his exit.
(I'm pretty sure Wolf's security is under orders to keep them apart. Stack, you may recall, no longer has security.)
Need a quick refresher on Stack's uniquely Pennsylvania head-shaking saga?
Well, the Philly boy/lieutenant governor's high-perk post – nation's highest LG salary ($162,373); only LG with a mansion – is in a bit of jeopardy.
This due to bad behavior by him and his wife toward mansion staff and security that led to Wolf pulling both last year after ordering an investigation, findings of which Wolf (who claims to be all about transparency) refuses to release.
Stack, a longtime member of the Screen Actors' Guild (evidenced anytime he presides over the Senate), chalks this up to a "private family health issue" for which his wife, Tonya, sought mental-health treatment.
Stack's in the race for reelection. There's legislation to abolish the office. And Stack, so far, has six challengers.
As Rep. Scott Conklin (D., Centre), who emceed Saturday's event, put it, "Each one of these candidates brings something to the table."
(I immediately thought meatloaf, gravy, veggies, some potato thing.)
Yet, despite the fact it's all but certain none would be in the race without the Stack flap, not one of them brought to the table any reference to it, or to Stack.
They played nice.
The biggest name (and presence) in the mix is Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, a U.S. Senate candidate in 2016. He made clear he'd use the office to expand his efforts in social justice and equality that brought him national attention as an Allegheny County small-town mayor.
Montgomery County Rep. Madeleine Dean stressed her understanding of the legislature and nudged at Stack stuff, saying she's not in public service for perks. She pledged, if elected, not to live in the LG's stone mansion (with swimming pool). She suggested it be used as an opioid treatment facility.
Aryanna Berringer, an Iraq War vet, mom of three, and IT contractor from Allegheny County, touched the crowd with her life story: "I grew up poor (the youngest of 10) with a dad who was black and a mom who is white." She said anyone in her family should be generations away from running for office, "Yet, here I am."
She drew big applause suggesting public school cafeterias buy much more of their food from Pennsylvania farmers.
Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone said she's running because "local government needs a voice at the table."
Lancaster County Commissioner Craig Lehman wants to attack state budget woes with "policies that make sense" (which, come on, are often better than those that don't).
And Ray Sosa, Montgomery County banker/insurance broker, wants to cut the costs of prison recidivism by giving more opportunity to those who served time.
Stack, too. Speaking of his work as chairman of the state Board of Pardons, he stressed reducing incarceration costs, then (ironically, pointedly, or intentionally) said, "I've always believed in giving people second chances."
He might well get one. Multiple opponents help. If they share big chunks of the statewide vote, Stack could win with his Philly base.
When I ask him about the field, he says, "The more the merrier. … I'm confident in how I do in competition."
The competition ends May 15. The Farm Show ends Jan. 13. Those who can should visit the latter and vote in the former.