by Damon Boughamer
Public Radio Capitol News, serving Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Penna. (PRCN, 8 March 2006) -- Joe Hoeffel dropped out of the Democratic race for lieutenant governor today – less than 24 hours after officially filing to run.
Governor Rendell did not want him to run against incumbent Catherine Baker Knoll.
An event in Harrisburg was supposed to be Hoeffel’s launch announcement but turned into a joint appearance with Rendell where both said ending this campaign was in the best interest of the party.
"I thought and still think that I could build a better team for the future. But the governor is the decision-maker here," Hoeffel said.
"I have heard with almost unanimity from people – from local elected officials to countywide elected officials in the southwest – again, the burden of having two southeasterners on the ticket would be very difficult for them," Rendell said.
Allegheny County Recorder of Deeds Valerie McDonald Roberts and two others are still challenging Knoll, but Hoeffel was considered to have the best shot at unseating her.
Montgomery County Commissioner Jim Matthews is the only Republican candidate and the running mate of GOP gubernatorial hopeful Lynn Swann.